As a dog owner, probably more than anything, you want to make sure that your furry baby is happy and healthy. Sadly, our dogs cannot talk to us in our language and tell us when they feel nauseous or bloated.
1. High energy levels
Most dogs prefer running to walking. If your furry friend is acting tired, refusing to play like he always does, or is slowing down, these may signal a host of other problems. It could range from mild issues like muscle pain to severe conditions like congestive heart failure.
Your dog should display enthusiasm for their favorite activities and be energetic. If there’s a change in your dog’s attitude that prolongs for more than three days, this could indicate serious health problems and prompt a trip to the vet if it persists.
2. Good appetite
Generally speaking, a dog with a hearty appetite is a healthy dog. While you may enjoy watching your pet enjoy food, overfeeding at mealtimes could lead to a host of other problems like obesity. To avoid this, feed your dog with the right amount of good dog food to help your dog stay healthy and fit.
While most healthy dogs are food motivated, an overly increased appetite may be a red flag to many health issues. Some of the illnesses that may lead to an insatiable appetite include:
- Cushing’s disease
- Gastrointestinal problems that may bring about poor absorption of nutrients
If your dog doesn’t eat for more than 24 hours, it’s best to take them to the vet for an expert opinion.
3. Shiny, full coat
A dog’s coat speaks volumes about their overall health. Depending on the breed, the coat’s quality may vary from long to short and double to single. Whichever, the breed, a healthy dog should have a shiny and springy coat that isn’t smelly or greasy.
A dull and lackluster coat is usually because of mediocre quality food or diet. A dog’s coat is made up of about 90% protein, just like human hair. Therefore, when a diet is deficient in protein, the coat quality is naturally affected.
Always look for dog foods whose first ingredient is a protein source. You should generally avoid foods with animal byproducts or preservatives as the main ingredient. For instance, it will be best to go something with lamb, chicken, or turkey as the first ingredient instead of soy, wheat, or chicken meal.
Remember to brush your dog more often since it’s a significant factor for a shiny coat. Brushing your pooch’s far often stimulates the skin and hair follicles, thus increasing the production of skin oils that make the coat shiny.
Aside from this, brushing helps remove dead hair, and you’re able to keep a check on their coat for parasites like ticks.
4. Clear eyes
A bright-eyed dog is another sign of a healthy pup. Healthy canine eyes are bright, moist, and the area around the iris (sclera) should be white.
Whether it’s using special eye drops for dogs, simple eyewash, or clearing away residue, it’s always best to do this regularly instead of waiting for an infection to start. The brighter and clearer your dog’s eyes are, the more fun he or she will get out of life.
Pawing at his or her eyes may be the first indication that there’s an issue with your Fido’s eyes. Your dog doesn’t have an effective and safe way of maintaining clean eyes. You have to perform regular home eye exams to check for the following issues:
- Unequal pupil sizes
- Closed eye(s)
- Visible third eyelid
- Change or cloudiness in eye color
- Tear-stained fur
Always be careful when cleaning your dog’s eyes. Since the eyes are a sensitive area, never use your bare fingers. It would be best if you used a clean, damp towel instead. Also, steer off cotton balls or other products that may shed into the eye.
Your dog’s eyes are too important to overlook. Ensure that they are always in tip-top condition by monitoring for any problems. In case of any concerns regarding your dog’s eye health, contact your veterinarian.
5. Fresh breath, clean teeth, and bright pink gums
Your dog’s breath should never be repulsive. Additionally, a healthy dog should have shiny gums that extend to the base of the teeth. It’s worth noting that the gums’ colors vary from pink to black gums, depending on the breed of the dog. For instance, a Shar-Pei will have dark-colored gums while a yellow Labrador will have pink gums.
Regardless of the breed, your dog’s teeth should be shiny and white. Additionally, there shouldn’t be any build-up of yellow or brown material on the gum line. Inadequate oral hygiene could lead to various health problems, and some may be deadly.
- Blood clots
- Heart problems
- Periodontal disease
If there’s a build-up of tartar or plaque, that’s your cue to act fast. Feed your dog a complete and balanced diet that will not build up tartar and plaque or cause an offensive breath. You could also offer raw bones that are right for your dog’s temperament and size.
Additionally, you could brush your dog’s teeth or arrange for teeth cleaning and an exam by your vet. However, the latter is costly and may require anesthesia.
Know and watch for signs your dog is healthy and make sure you provide high-quality food, excellent eye care, grooming, and dental care to keep your pup healthy. Unfortunately, your pet won’t walk up to you and say that it is sick.
You know your dog best, even better than the vet. If you notice any persistent signs that something is off, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with your vet.
Grace Hawkins is a passionate writer and guest blogger. She primarily writes about pets, and writing helps her improve her knowledge, skills, and understanding about that topic. Grace especially likes writing about dogs and loves traveling and exploring new places.