Dog Health Checklist:
Some dogs are better at covering up pain than others, so they may need to count on your vigilance to spot any unusual signs. Use the checklist below to do a thorough monthly examination of your dog and help identify any signs of illness or injury early on.
Your dog’s body condition
Get to know your dog’s ideal body condition and make sure they are neither overweight nor underweight. A noticeable change in your dog’s weight can be a sign of an underlying health condition. If you do experience this, contact your veterinarian for advice.
As a responsible dog owner, you must regularly conduct the dog’s body condition assessment. First, run your hands over your dog and use your fingertips to feel the dog’s ribs. Your ribs should be relatively easy to feel, with just a slight layer of fat, and you may be able to see them depending on your breed and coat length. From above, you should see a well-defined hourglass waist, and from the side, your stomach should slope up from your chest to your hind legs.
Your dog’s ears
Look inside your dog’s ears and look for redness, itching, or unusual smells. Ideally, you are looking for clean ears with no thick brown or green waxy discharge. Some breeds are more prone to ear problems than others; Long-eared breeds require regular DC to keep their ears clean, while thin-haired dogs (or dogs with white ears) are prone to sunburn. When cleaning your dog’s ears, keep in mind that it is a very delicate and delicate part of the body. Therefore, only use special ear cleaners recommended by your veterinarian and avoid placing cotton swabs near the ear canal, as the dog’s eardrum can be easily perforated. To prevent sunburn, which can lead to skin cancer, dab sunscreen lotion on your dog’s ears on hot or sunny days.
If your dog keeps shaking his head, he’ll start holding his head to one side or rubbing one side of his face across the carpet or grass. This could mean that he has an ear infection. In this case, we recommend that you take it with you to your vet for a thorough ear exam.
Your dog’s eyes
When you look your dog in the eye you want them to be bright, clear, with no signs of redness, pain, or walking. Carefully point your head at a light (but not directly at it) and see how they react. If your dog is blinking or shy, it could mean the light is hurting his eyes. Also, be careful if you notice them suddenly bump into things. If you experience problems with the dog’s eye, we recommend that you have your veterinarian examine your eyes.
Your dog’s nose
When you think of a healthy dog, you are probably imagining that they have a cold, wet nose, but that is not a real sign of the dog’s health. What you are actually looking for with their noses is a crust-free surface with no liquid or thickened discharge or bleeding. You may notice dogs with pink noses as some dog noses change color – from black to pink and back again. This is completely normal and nothing to worry about. However, if you have something on your dog’s nose that concerns you, have your veterinarian take a look.
Your dog’s mouth
Nobody wants their beloved dog to have smelly breath, but a bad breath in dogs can mean more than just a social problem – it can actually be a sign of canine disease, like an underlying digestive or kidney problem. Most of the time, a dog with bad breath is due to poor oral hygiene. Bacterial plaque on teeth and gums can lead to tooth decay and gum disease, as well as more serious health problems. When you look in your dog’s mouth, the teeth should be white / cream in color and free from tartar (thick brown deposits). The gums should be a healthy pink or black, depending on the skin pigmentation, but never red, swollen, or bleeding. Look out for signs of a dog’s mouth problem, such as: Such as food dropping, eating disorders, excessive salivation, mouth claws, or bad breath, and ask your veterinarian to check your dog’s teeth every time you visit. Ideally, you will get your dog used to having their teeth brushed with a special dog toothpaste twice a day.
Your dog’s skin and coat
The skin of healthy dogs can be pink or black, depending on the pigments of that particular breed or your dog’s individual genetic history. To check for skin problems in dogs, spread the fur with your fingers and look for crusts, itching, flaking, black or white spots, and infected or hot and inflamed areas.
A dog’s coat should be thick (depending on its breed) and shiny, with no broken hair, bald spots, scales, or fleas. Molting is completely natural and takes place all year round. However, expect more than usual in summer and fall, known as the molting season. For the health of their skin and coat, as well as your carpets, you need to groom your dog regularly and invest in a good vacuum cleaner! Unshed dogs, such as poodle breeds, still require regular grooming, even if they don’t shed.
Your dog’s paws and nails
Extreme weather can cause problems with your dog’s paws to put a strain on your dog’s paws. So check it regularly for damage. For example, your pads can be cut by ice in winter. It is a good idea to clean your dog’s paws after winter walks, as your pet may ingest antifreeze or salt on the pads, which will be toxic to them if they ingest it by licking themselves clean. In summer there is another danger – the sun. Hot surfaces, including asphalt, can burn your dog’s paws. So walk on grass wherever possible.
When checking your dog’s nails, you want them to be smooth and fully shaped. They can be black or white. However, if you notice broken or missing nails, or know that your dog’s nails are rough and easily peeled or broken, it is best to have them examined by your veterinarian. Don’t forget to check your dog’s dew claws too – you can find them on the inside of her leg, just above the paw. Some dogs only have them on their front legs; Some have them on all four while others have no dewclaws at all.
Your dog’s digestion
Dogs are notoriously keen on their food and likely won’t say no to being fed by another family member more than once! Only one person in the house should be responsible for feeding your dog (even if they delegate on occasion), and the same person should also keep an eye on your dog’s appetite and digestion. For example, if your dog needs a change in diet, this should be done gradually and in a controlled manner over a period of 7 to 10 days, paying close attention to how this affects its appetite.
Occasional eating and regurgitation of weed may be normal, but otherwise, you will want to watch out for vomiting, reluctance to eat, or difficulty eating.
Part of being a responsible dog owner is becoming familiar with their numbers – this means checking out their color and texture. Chairs should pass effortlessly and be an even brown color with a solid texture. You shouldn’t see any blood or mucus (clear jelly) and signs of incontinence should be taken seriously. If you notice changes in your dog’s appetite or digestion it may be completely normal, but it may also indicate an underlying medical problem in your dog’s health. So please mention this to your veterinarian.
Your dog is thirsty
If your dog suddenly becomes very thirsty or drinks much more water than usual without excessive exercise, it may be a symptom of an underlying medical problem or a problem with your dog’s health and you should speak to your veterinarian about it.
Your dog’s mobility
Older dogs can get stiffer joints and their mobility can suffer much more. As part of your monthly check-up, keep an eye on movement, especially in cold, damp weather or after long periods of lying or sitting. If you notice any signs of stiffness in dogs, make some small changes to your dog’s lifestyle such as: For example, stopping long car journeys with a leg stretch, and talk to your veterinarian about joint support and possible dietary changes that may help them feel more supple.
The attitude of your dog
You know your dog better than anyone, so you must be the first to notice a change in your attitude. You can tell a lot from your dog’s body language. For example, if you find that the head and tail are pointing down and they seem quieter and less playful than usual, it may mean that your dog is feeling under the weather. Poor dogs can also frolic in corners, dig holes in the yard to lie in or appear unusually aggressive at times for no apparent reason. If you are concerned or notice any unusual changes in your dog’s health, always seek advice from your veterinarian.
Following the tips on this dog health checklist should help you keep your dog healthy so that the two of you are as happy together as possible!