Having a simple dog health check sheet in your care kit will give you an easy-to-reference guide to spotting any signs of your dog’s health possibly changing.
Check out the graphic below to help you.
Simple health checks that you can perform with your dog in the comfort of your own home.
Because your dog is unable to notify you if something is wrong, it is your responsibility to find out. In order to be a responsible dog owner, it is a good idea to keep a health checklist of things to look out for in your dog on a frequent basis.
Using this method, you will understand what is normal for your dog and will be warned immediately if anything changes.
If you notice anything that is concerning, you can schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible, increasing the likelihood that any health problems will be detected early.
As soon as you obtain a new puppy, begin to socialize him or her to have his or her teeth examined. Everything should be done gently, and your dog should be adequately rewarded.
Start at the tip of the nose and work your way back to complete the process.
1. Examine and feel the bridge of your dog’s nose.
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It’s possible that your dog’s nose is not cold and damp! There’s no reason to be concerned if your dog’s nose is warm or a little dry, but everything else appears to be normal and he is eating and drinking as normal.
Keep an eye out for pain or discharge in your dog’s nose. It is possible that excessive dryness and scaliness are genetic diseases in some breeds.
2. Pay attention to your dog’s gaze.
The pupils of the eyes should be brilliant. An accumulation of blackish residue in the corner of the eye caused by a given amount of discharge caused by a normal number of tears will arise from a certain amount of discharge.
This is normal behavior for the majority of dogs. If you see any of the following symptoms in your dog, you should take him to the veterinarian:
- The discharge is green or yellow in color.
- Excessive watering is a problem.
- One or both eyes may be squinting or closing, which may indicate that it is unpleasant.
- The whites of the eyes appear pinker or redder than usual.
- If your dog is touching their eye, it is a sign of a problem.
3. Examine and smell the inside of both ears.
Find out what is normal for your dog’s behavior. Ears that are floppy or bushy can conceal problems. Hair in and of itself is not necessarily an issue, and sometimes plucking it out might cause inflammation, so consult your veterinarian before doing so.
A tiny quantity of wax can be considered acceptable and protective, but excessive amounts can cause itching and infection in the skin. If you notice any of the following, seek veterinarian advice:
- a discharge that is sticky or purulent
- discharge that is black and crumbly
- Your dog is scratching their ear or ear canal.
- There is a foul odor in the room.
- Experiencing pain in or around the ear
- Swelling of the eardrum, resulting in the closure of the ear canal.
If you do discover a problem and take your dog to the veterinarian, he or she will most likely prescribe drops for your dog to take home.
Depending on the situation, they may recommend that you clean your dog’s ears on a regular basis in order to avoid problems from returning.
We recommend that you only do this under veterinary supervision. For further information, visit our article on dog’s ears here.
4. Dental health and gums
Make an effort to examine your dog’s teeth and gums on a regular basis, but be cautious when doing so because some dogs will just not let it! In most circumstances, all that is required to check the teeth is to raise and lower the lips.
What you should be searching for is something like this:
- Brown tartar is accumulating on the teeth, and it usually begins or becomes worse on the rear teeth.
- There is some redness around the gum/tooth boundary.
- odors that are offensive
- This can be quite painful if the gums are infected and the dental roots are exposed.
If you can see any lumps on the gums or under the tongue, that’s a good sign that there is an issue.
Your veterinarians and nurses will be more than pleased to provide you with information on how to care for your dog’s teeth at home, as well as information on what diets may be beneficial for dogs who are resistant to the toothbrush.
5. The skin of your dog
You can study the skin all over your body with both your eyes and your hands if you want to. First and foremost, take notice of whether your dog is biting, chewing, or scratching its skin, as well as whether there are any obvious changes in the coat.
- Investigate all of the nooks and crannies, such as under the front legs and between the pads.
- Even if you treat fleas on a regular basis, don’t forget to check for signs of their presence.
- Flea droppings have the appearance of little pieces of black soot. Rashes are not rare and can manifest themselves as red rings or spots on the skin.
- While checking the skin, you may notice lumps and bumps that need to be addressed.
6. Your dog’s nails
Don’t forget to check your dog’s nails from time to time. It is especially crucial to keep an eye on the dewclaws of long-haired dogs since they can grow completely around and become stuck in the pad. Owners are frequently concerned about the length of their nails, and they are reluctant to cut them themselves for fear of causing them to bleed.
One of the many wonderful perks of being able to cut your own dog’s nails is that it can build trust and bond. Start your dog getting used to this early on, when they are a puppy, and they will soon get used to it.
You can learn all about how to do it safely in our article and check out this great video too.
However, if you are still unsure or concerned about doing this (and it can be difficult, so no need to beat yourself up about this) then make an appointment for your pet today by contacting your veterinarian’s office and your vet will be able to help or indeed recommend a good dog groomer, who will have a huge amount of experience in this.
7. The backside of your dog!
Finally, take a brief peek under your dog’s tail to complete your examination. Anal glands are small glands that are located just below the surface of the skin.
They have the potential to become impacted or infected, and this can result in pain and irritation. Normally, you won’t see anything, but if there is swelling or redness on either side of the anus, you should have your veterinarian examine it immediately.
If your dog drags his back end around the floor, it is most likely due to swollen anal glands rather than because he has worms in his system.
By getting yourself knowledgeable about these areas of your dog, you can often catch problems long before they have an opportunity to worsen.
Plus, the fact that it can often save you a lot financially in terms of vets fees if you are proactive in your dog’s care.