I have mentioned this in the past but feel it is important enough to reiterate a few easy tips to tell if you’ve got healthy pup. Remember, since they can not just tell us how they are feeling it is our jobs to observe them when they are healthy so we know when they might be feeling ill.
Besides the standard tells, like having an appetite and everything else staying pretty normal, here are some things to look out for:
The Mouth: If you notice that your dog has bad breath, it can be an indication of the need for a dental check up, or even something more. “ Some odors may be indicative of fairly serious chronic problems,” said Dr. Murray. “Liver or intestinal diseases may cause foul breath, whereas a sweet, fruity smells may be indicative of diabetes. If your dog’s breath smells like ammonia or urine, kidney disease is a possibility. Any time you notice your pet has bad breath accompanied by other signs of ill health, schedule a visit to the veterinarian.” Another unlikely place to look to tell if your dog is healthy are his gums. “Once a week, with your dog facing you, lift his lips and examine his gums and teeth,” says Dr. Murray. “The gums should be pink, not white or red, and should show no signs of swelling. His teeth should be clean, without any brownish tartar.” Not only can irregularities mean a problem with your dog’s mouth, but it can also be a sign of gastrointestinal issues.
The Eyes: Your dog’s eyes are also indicators of his overall health and wellbeing. In fact, many vets recommend that you give your dog regular home eye exams to keep you aware of any potential health problems. Dr. Murray explains how easy it is to do this: “Face your dog in a brightly lit area, and look into his eyes. They should be clear and bright, and the area around the eyeball should be white. His pupils should be equal in size, and there shouldn’t be tearing, discharge or any crust in the corners of his eyes. With your thumb, gently roll down your dog’s lower eyelid and look at the lining. It should be pink, not red or white.” If you do notice a problem, call your veterinarian. They can prescribe medicine to heal any eye disorders that can be impairing your pooch’s vision.
The Skin: Be mindful of your dog’s skin, as well. “Your dog’s skin is an indication of her overall health,” says Dr. Murray. “When a skin problem occurs, your dog may respond with excessive scratching, chewing and/or licking. A wide range of causes — including external parasites, infections, allergies, metabolic problems and stress, or a combination of these — may be affecting your dog’s skin.”
If your pup hasn’t been acting too weird but also not normal after a few days, it never hurts to take them to the vet.
What do you look out for when monitoring your pets health?