Video:Signs of a Healthy Dogwith Janet Tobiassen-Crosby, DVM
Understanding the signs of a healthy dog will help you know when something's wrong, and that's when it's time to take him to the vet. See how to examine your dog from nose to tail.See Transcript
Transcript:Signs of a Healthy DogHi, I'm Janet Tobiassen-Crosby, the Guide for veterinary medicine at About.com. Today I'm going to talk about the signs of a healthy dog.
Understanding the signs of a healthy dog will help you know when something's wrong, and that's when it's time to take him to the vet. When a veterinarian examines your pet, we generally start at the nose and work our way to the tail - which is what I am going to do today, well start at the nose.
Health Dog NosesIt should be free of any discharge. The old warm nose, cold nose is largely a myth. Throughout the day your dogs nose can be hot cold or dry. But if it's prolonged, or if it's a dry cracking nose, you should see your vet.
Healthy Dog EyesThe eyes should be clear and free of discharge. Some dogs do tear naturally, and that tear can stain, but for the most part normal dogs should have clear, bright eyes.
Healthy Dog EarsThe ears should be clear of discharge and free of odor. Again, some dogs that have hair in their ear canals are going to be needing a lot more ear care then other dogs.
Healthy Dog TeethThe teeth should be free of plaque and tartar, and the gums in good condition. We're looking for foul odor, trouble eating, or pain or bleeding from the mouth.
Healthy Dog CoatsThe coat should be glossy and full. No visible evidence of parasites or skin irritation.
Healthy Dog WeightYour dog should also be maintained at an optimal weight. Obesity is a great problem in our pets right now. They should have a definable waist when they're looked at from the top and you should be able to gently feel their ribs from the sides. They should also be able to exercise gently without trouble.
Healthy Dog PawsYour dog's feet are also very important. The nails should be kept trim. If you hear them clicking on the kitchen floor, then they're probably too long. Check between the toes to look for any foreign objects, redness or swelling.
Signs of an Unhealthy DogA dog who's not feeling well is going to be lethargic and sometimes even irritable. So, if your dog does not have the usual good temperament that could be a first sign of illness. Being able to tell the difference between normal and not normal is the first step in good health for your pet. It's always good to check with your vet with any question no matter how small. It could be the start of something that needs attention.
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