Dogs age faster than us and because they can’t communicate when they are not feeling well they rely on us to take care of them. Annual checkups are important for preventive care but there are other signs we can keep a look out for. Here are our top 6.
1. Potty time. Does your dog have regular bladder and bowel movements? Make sure his or her bowel movements are free of blood, mucus, worms, off-color ( chalky white or black ), greasy coating or diarrhea.
2. Clean and odor free ears. Take a look inside your dog’s ears and check to see there is no discharge, waxy buildup or a pungent or musky smell.
3. Check the scale. The number one concern for veterinarians is pet obesity. The same problems obesity brings to humans it also brings to our dogs such as diabetes, heart & lung disease, bone & joint disease, cancer and skin conditions. If your dog continues to have weight problems it could be due to a food allergy.
4. Fresh Breath. Clean smelling and tartar free teeth are signs of a healthy dog. High quality rawhides can keep them occupied and help with their oral hygiene.
5. Happy go lucky. Dogs are pack animals and thrive being near us and socializing with humans and other dogs. If your dog is showing signs of sadness, sleeping more or looks depressed, take note. Try a trip to the dog park or local dog store to choose a new treat. But most of all show them how much you love them through your words and touch.
6. Shiny but not greasy coat. Healthy pets normally don’t need to be cleaned routinely (except for breeds which require grooming) unless they get dirty. Healthy, clean coats are soft, not brittle and contain a natural layer of oil. If your dog suddenly has a “doggy smell” that is most likely caused by a buildup of bacteria and oil. Bathing will eliminate this.