How to Check Your Dog’s Health at Home
Giving your dog a weekly health check is a vital part of any dog owner’s routine. A quick health check takes little more than a few minutes, and allows you to spot warning signs of illness and/or injury early on.
Listed below are the key areas of your dog to check, along with what you should be looking you for when you check him. Remember – it is important to be gentle when checking your pet’s health, and that regular full veterinary check-ups are also important.
Key Areas to Check:
Eyes – The eyes should be bright and clear, with no signs of redness, soreness or discharge.
Ears – These should look clean and smell fresh, without any redness, residue or excessive wax.
Nose – There should be no crusting, thicken discharge or bleeding present. A healthy nose is not always cool and wet, but a hot, dry nose can be a symptom of illness, so monitor if concerned.
Teeth – Teeth should be clean, with no brown tartar build-up, and gum should be healthy, without any swollen or bloody areas. Very bad breath can be a symptom of an underlying digestive issue or tooth decay.
Feet – Check that nothing is caught between your dog’s pads and that the hair here is not too long. Ensure that nails are suitable length and are healthy, without any flaking or chips.
Skin and Coat – The skin should be free from irritation, crusting/dry patches, or any hot or inflamed areas. The coat should be shiny and healthy, without any bald patches or matting.
Movement and Condition – Try to become aware of what is healthy for your dog, as this will make it easier to identify any weight loss, limping or an unusual gait. You should also monitor your dog for weight gain, as keeping your dog a healthy weight reduces the likelihood of other health issues.
Demeanour – Your dog’s attitude can explain a lot. Becoming suddenly withdrawn, quiet, or disliking company could indicate an under lying health concern.
If your dog experiences any of the above issues for more than three consecutive days, consult your veterinarian for further advice.