Give Your Dog A Basic Health Check At Home

If you are familiar with how your dog’s body should feel and how it actually feels, you will be able to detect any unexpected changes that may be an indication of a parasite infestation or an impending disease in your dog. If you are able to spot any potential health issues early on, not only will you be able to save money by doing so, but you will also be saving the life of your much-loved pet. Do these basic steps in between vet appointments at regular intervals. Your furry friend’s nose is a good place to begin, and you should continue working your way down until you reach the tip of its tail:

The Nose Should Be Moist, Not Too Dry Or Runny.

Put the tip of your finger on the nose and feel around. Your finger should become somewhat wet if there is sufficient moisture to be released. The state of one’s health can often be determined by looking at their nose. If the nose of your dog is dry and cracked, this could be an indication of hyperkeratosis, which is more of an aesthetic issue than a potentially fatal one. What could be causing my dog’s runny nose? This is a more significant issue that could have been brought on by a number of different things.

Let us have a quick look: Allergies, sinus, respiratory disease, periodontal disease, nasal tumors, and lodged foreign objects are all aggravators that can cause a runny nose in a dog.  If it lasts for more than a few hours, make an appointment with your pet care provider.

Teeth Should Be White With No Tartar Or Blood.

When your dog gets a build-up of tartar it is the first step of tooth decay.  What happens after this is rotten teeth and gum disease.  Your dog should have nice white pearly teeth with no build-up close to the gums and there should be no smell or bloody discharge coming from the gums.

Look For Any Loose Teeth

Wiggle your dog’s teeth lightly.  Check that there are no loose teeth that will need removing.  Smell their breath.  A stinky breath is a good indication of a problem that requires attention.

Eyes Should Be Clear And Shiny

Look for any yellow discharge which is a sign of infection.  Any murky blotches are an indication of cataracts or blindness.  The eyes should be well lubricated, like a shiny marble.  Pay attention to dogs with protruding eyes which are prone to dry eye disease.

Ears Should Be Dry And Light Pink Inside.

Red/overly waxy/brown could be a sign of infection. A Foul smell coming from the ear cavities is a dead giveaway of either an infection or parasite infestation.  This should be looked at straight away as leaving it will only make it worse.

Make Sure There Are No Lumps Or Bumps On The Head And Neck Area.

Check Nails On The Front Legs.

Make sure there are no cracked nails.  Check for nails that are too long that need clipping.  Dewclaws are the nails a little bit higher up on the paw and some dogs have them while some don’t.  They don’t get to touch off the ground and so never get a chance to naturally grind down.  Check them regularly so they don’t curl into the paw pad and cause pain and infection.

Check Feet And Legs For Cuts, Lumps Or Bumps.

Also, check between the paw pads that there are no foreign objects stuck, or for any cuts from glass or stones.  Some of the hairier breeds might have lots of hair under the paws that get caked up in mud and form ridges that are painful to walk on.  You can cut that out carefully with a scissor, making sure you don’t accidentally cut into the pad.

Feel Belly Area For Anything Unusual

Some dogs have a hernia that needs to be checked regularly.  Make sure they don’t get any larger as this will require surgery.

A Touch Over The Back. Spine And Ribs Should Not Be Sticking Through The Skin.

Check That The Coat Is Shiny And Free Of Dandruff, Ticks And Fleas.

Check Nails On Back Legs.

Lift The Tail And Make Sure The Hair Is Not In The Way Of Important Business.

Check the private area; keep it as hair-free as possible, if there is no hair then nothing can get stuck and eventually block them from going toilet.  Smells may be an indication of problems especially in females, it may be a sign of pyometra, which is an infection of the womb and can cause death if left. Another bad smell can be of anal glands that need to be emptied.  In either case, don’t ignore bad smells!

Give your dog the gift of good health and do this basic health check regularly as a preventative measure.

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