Why Perform Regular Dog Health Checks?
Regular health checks are essential to keep your dog healthy and comfortable. There are numerous topics to consider when it comes to promoting good health and regular checks ensure that nothing goes unnoticed. Performing these checks just once a month is the best way to preempt any serious health-related issues.
Signs of a Healthy Dog
When performing a health check, look out for the following signs of good health:
- Eyes: Bright, clear eyes without any redness or discharge.
- Ears: Clean, wax-free ears without any foul odor.
- Nose: Moist nose with no discharge or crusting.
- Coat: Smooth, glossy, and free from parasites like fleas.
- Body: A good body temperature of around 37.5 – 39°C when taken with a rectal thermometer.
- Teeth: White teeth with no yellowish discoloration or tartar.
- Gums: Pink with no signs of inflammation or bleeding.
Health Check Routine
You should also inspect common problem areas like the paws and between the toes for cuts, abrasions and rashes, as well as perform a simple but thorough physical exam.
- Mouth: Attempt to open your dog’s mouth and inspect the gums, teeth and tongue.
- Eyes: Look for unusual discharge, redness or swelling and inspect between the lids.
- Ears: Check both ears for redness, odor, and discharge.
- Nose: Examine the nostrils for discharges, crusting or unusual smell.
- Skin: Check for dryness, scaling, rashes, and fleas.
- Feet: Inspect the paws and between the toes for cuts, scrapes, and wounds.
- Grooming: Take a brush or comb to really look for skin parasites or other signs of illness.
What If Something Unusual Is Found?
If during your routine health check, you find something unusual or notice your dog’s attitude or behavior has changed, the best thing to do is to take your dog to the vet.
It’s important to perform regular health checks on your dog as often as possible to ensure they stay healthy and well. Don’t forget that prevention is always better than cure, so keep an eye out for any warning signs and consult your veterinarian if something doesn’t seem right.