It’s easy to forget just how much our dogs rely on us for good health. Be sure to keep up with your pet’s health by monitoring a number of health indicators. Here are several signs of general good health that you can regularly check, from the American Kennel Club
- Beautiful skin. A dog’s skin should be flexible and smooth. Any scars, growths, flakes or white areas may be cause for concern. However, natural spots on the skin are normal.
- Knock off freeloaders. Check your dog regularly for fleas or ticks. To prevent them, use tick and flea medicines. Even with medicines, check for these in the warm weather months.
- The eyes have it! Eyes should be bright and shiny. Mucus or runny eyes are normal to an extent. But always check with a vet if it seems to be excessive.
- How’s the pug? Check your dog’s nose. A healthy dog should have a nose that is cool and moist. However, a nose that is not cool and moist does not necessarily mean your dog is sick. More important is noticing changes in nasal discharge. It should be always be clear.
- Smile! Gums are an often-neglected area of canine health. Dogs can’t brush their own teeth, so monitoring gum health is very important. Healthy gums should be firm and pink or black. Soft white matter or hard yellow matter is plaque or tartar. That should be brushed away.
- Breath check. While you might not make a perfume out of your dog’s breath, healthy breath should not be overly offensive.
- Just enough. Keeping your dog at a healthy weight goes a long way towards overall health. Make sure your dog is getting the right amount of food and adequate exercise.
- Give ‘em a boost. Regular vaccinations are also necessary to keep your pet healthy. Beyond the initial puppy shots, yearly booster shots should keep your dog from contracting a number of serious illnesses.
Serious causes for concern include vomiting, fainting, shivering, difficulty breathing, coughing and constipation, among other things. Be sure to contact your vet immediately if any of these symptoms are present.