Dog Health: 7x Best Dog Health Signals

Published on 13 August 2021 at 11:36

How Can I Tell if My Dog Is Healthy? 

How can I tell if my dog is healthy? This blog will educate you about how to keep your dog healthy naturally and happy. It is important to know the signals of an unhealthy dog as well. 


Like many first-time parents, new pet owners may over think every little quirk their dog displays. The good news is, there are signs that tell you when your dog is thriving. In addition to regular checkups with a family veterinarian, including routine wellness procedures such as an annual blood panel, fecal testing and urine analysis, these indicators should be noticeable to pet owners. 


7x How To Check if Your Dog is Healthy?

Do you ever wonder if your dog is truly doing all right? As a dog owner, you have a responsibility to care for your furry friend's physical and mental well being. It is a great idea to stop every now and again and ask yourself if the dog is happy and healthy. In order to assess this, you will need to look for physical wellness, as well as looking for any psychological problems, including boredom and frustration.


Dogs let you know what they think of people, places and situations with their eyes, ears, tail and other body parts. Recognising and understanding your dog's body language is therefore an important part of communicating with him.


This is especially important if your dog's behaviour or body language suddenly shows that he is no longer happy but is feeling stressful, anxious or lonely. Sometimes a dog's body language or behaviour can indicate that he is not happy with his current situation.


#1: Eating Habits

The number of meals a dog eats per day depends completely on the family schedule. Dogs should eat at least two meals each day, about 12 hours apart. But a breakfast, lunch, and dinner schedule is an equally great option. If more than 12 hours elapses between meals, the stomach can become hyperacidic causing nausea.


If your dog goes off his food or drink for more than 24 hours it’s time to contact the vet, especially if your dog is usually a big eater. Remember, you know your dog better than anyone — if you think something is up, it probably is.

#2: Check Your Dogs Body Condition 

On a weekly basis you should be (whilst grooming if appropriate for your breed) performing a full body check of your dog. Gently run your hands over every part of your dogs body and check for lumps, cuts, inflammation and any signs of discomfort.


Your dog is too thin if:

  • They have ribs, lumbar vertebrae, pelvic bones and other prominent bones (ones that you can see the shape of) that are visible from a distance. They will have no discernible body fat and an obvious loss of muscle mass.

  • Your dog's ribs, lumbar vertebrae and pelvic bones are easily visible. They’ll have no palpable fat, with some prominent bones but only minimal loss of muscle mass.

  • You have an underweight dog if their ribs are easily palpated (felt) and may be visible, with no palpable fat covering them. The tops of their lumbar vertebrae are visible, their pelvic bones becoming prominent, and they have a prominent waist.


Your dog’s body score is ideal if:

  • You’re be able to feel their ribs without too much of a fat covering. Their waist should be easily visible from above (look for an hour-glass shape) and their abdomen (the part of their underside just in front of their hind legs) should be tucked up towards their pelvis when viewed from one side.


Your dog is overweight if:

  • Their ribs are palpable but with slight excess fat covering. Their waist is discernible viewed from above, but is not prominent and an abdominal tuck is apparent.

  • You have an overweight dog if you find it difficult to feel their ribs because of a heavy fat cover is in the way. There are noticeable fat deposits over their lumbar area and the base of their tail. Their waist absent or barely visible and their abdominal tuck may or may not be present.

  • Your dog's ribs are not palpable under a very heavy fat cover, or palpable only if you apply significant pressure. There are heavy fat deposits over lumbar area and base of their tail. Their waist is absent, with no abdominal tuck. Obvious abdominal distension may be present (their belly is large and hangs a little).

  • They have massive fat deposits over their thorax, spine and the base of their tail. Their waist and abdominal tuck is absent, and they have fat deposits on their neck and limbs. There is obvious abdominal distention (their belly hangs).

#3: Watch Their Body Language

When you’re out on walks, watch the way your dog moves when he walks and runs. Does he/she ever seem stiff? Overly tired? Or have a limp? Coughing and excessive panting may also indicate problems. Again, if it seems out of the ordinary take your dog to your vet. Here is how to recognize dog body language:

#4 Mouth, Teeth & Gums

Healthy gums are firm and pink, black, or spotted, just like the dog’s skin. Young dogs have smooth white teeth that tend to darken with age. Puppies have 23 baby teeth and adults have around 42 permanent teeth, depending on the breed. As adult teeth come in, they push baby teeth out of the mouth.


To check your dog’s mouth, talk to him gently, then put your hand over the muzzle and lift up the sides of his mouth. Check that adult teeth are coming in as they should, and not being crowded by baby teeth. Make sure the gums are healthy and the breath is not foul-smelling. Look for soft white matter or hard white, yellow, or brown matter. This is plaque or tartar and should be brushed away.


Mouth infections can lead to serious problems in the gums and other parts of the body, including the heart, so it’s important to give your dog’s teeth and mouth special attention.


#5 Heartbeat and Pulse

Because dogs come in a wide range of sizes, their heartbeats vary. A normal heart beats from 50 to 130 times a minute in a resting dog. Puppies and small dogs have faster speeds, and large dogs in top condition have slower heartbeats. To check your dog’s heartbeat, place your fingers over the left side of the chest, where you can feel the strongest beat. To check the pulse, which is the same speed as the heartbeat, press gently on the inside of the top of the hind leg. There is an artery there and the skin is thin, so it’s easy to feel the pulse.


#6 Alert, Engaged Interest

A healthy dog is eager to spend time with family, greeting you at the door, coming to you for playtime, watching and observing with interest. If your dog suddenly starts spending time alone, is disengaged or sleeping more, it could be a sign of a health issue. Changes in behavior are one of the number one reasons pet owners discover something is off with their companions. Pay attention to any change and schedule an appointment with your veterinarian.


Read more: 7 Surprising Ways to Tell Your Dog Is Happy


#7 Feces

Your dog's stools should be firm. Thin stools, pale stools, a strange color that you cannot trace to something the dog ate or blood in the stool are signs that something is wrong and a visit to the vet may be necessary. Also, if your dog has to push very hard, this may indicate an intestinal problem. Stress or eating something unusual or food that the dog is not used to can cause thin stools for a short time. If this lasts longer you better consult the veterinarian.


When to Call the Vet?

You should alert your veterinarian if your dog exhibits any unusual behavior, including the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive urination for more than twelve hours.
  • Fainting.
  • Loss of balance, staggering, falling.
  • Constipation or straining to urinate.
  • Runny eyes or nose.
  • Persistent scratching at eyes or ears.
  • Thick discharge from eyes, ears, nose, or sores.
  • Coughing or sneezing.
  • Difficulty breathing, prolonged panting.
  • Shivering.
  • Whining for no apparent reason.
  • Loss of appetite for 24 hours or more.
  • Weight loss.
  • Dramatic increase in appetite for 24 hours or more.
  • Increased restlessness.
  • Excessive sleeping or unusual lack of activity.
  • Limping, holding, or protecting part of the body.
  • Excessive drinking of water.
  • When the dogs gums are white.


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