One of your top priorities as a pet parent is to ensure the health and well-being of your furry friend. After all, a healthy dog is a happy dog- which is why it is important that you understand the signs of a healthy dog.
Balanced Pets in Traveler’s Rest, SC is an integrative pet clinic offering complete, comprehensive care for your pets. We offer both traditional and specialized care to help you keep your pet healthy.
In this article, we’ll explore the top signs of a healthy dog, as well as when you should be concerned.
Top 6 Signs
Below are the top 6 signs that your dog is healthy, and when you should be concerned:
It’s been said that the eyes are the windows to the soul. However, the eyes are also a reflection of your dog’s overall well-being. Healthy eyes are alert, bright, and clear. When you look at your dog’s eyes, you should see a clear expression and a sparkle. The whites of the eyes should be white with no visible irritation or redness, and they should have no excessive discharge or tearing.
If you notice any of the following, it’s important to seek treatment. These issues could indicate an infection, injury, or underlying health concern that requires immediate attention:
- Cloudiness/opacity in the eyes
- Persistent squinting or holding one eye shut
- Continuous pawing at the eyes
- Excessive tearing, redness, and/or swelling
- Signs of pain when touching around the eye
A healthy dog will be full of energy and ready to play, exercise, and explore. Their enthusiasm is an indication of their vitality and well-being.
However, if your typically active dog becomes lethargic, weak, or loses interest in the activities they once enjoyed, it’s cause for concern. Sudden changes in behaviors can indicate potential health concerns such as physical discomfort, emotional distress, or illness.
Your dog’s ears can also be an indicator of their overall health and well-being. A healthy dog has clean, odor-free ears that are free of excessive discharge. They will not show signs of discomfort such as tilting their head to one side, or frequent scratching or head shaking.
However, if your dog has any of the following issues, it could indicate an infection, allergic reaction, foreign objects in ears, or other issues. Contact the vet right away of you notice the following:
- Foul odor coming from ears
- Excessive wax or discharge
- Signs of pain when touching the ears
- Persistent scratching and/or head shaking
- Redness and/or swelling of the ear canal
A shiny, well-groomed coat shows off your dog’s beauty as well as their health. A healthy dog’s fur doesn’t excessively shed and is smooth and free from bald patches.
However, if your dog’s coat is dull, dry, or they are losing fur, it’s cause for concern. These issues may be related to nutritional issues, skin conditions, or underlying health issues. If your dog’s skin is dry and flaky, it could lead to itching and discomfort, as well as the development of hot spots. If left untreated, hot spots can become infected.
Regular grooming and maintaining a diet rich in essential nutrients is critical for a healthy coat. If you do observe persistent problems with your dog’s coat, contact your vet to determine the underlying cause.
Appetite and Bowel Movements
Healthy dogs are typically eager to eat and maintain a healthy weight. They have a healthy appetite and are not picky or uninterested in their food. They should maintain a healthy weight and body condition. Make sure that your dog is consuming an appropriate amount of food for their size and activity level.
Bowel movements should be regular and well-formed. Their stools should be solid and of a consistent color.
If there are any changes in your dog’s eating habits or if they have diarrhea or are constipated- or if there is blood in their stool, it’s cause for concern. These could all be signs of gastrointestinal issues, dietary problems, or underlying health concerns. Your vet can help to identify the underlying cause of appetite or bowel changes and recommend the appropriate treatments.
Typically, a healthy dog is sociable and well-behaved. They interact positively with people and other animals. They have good manners and a friendly disposition. They do not display signs of aggression, anxiety, or fear without a reasonable cause.
However, if your dog’s social behavior suddenly changes, it’s concerning. The following behaviors could indicate an underlying physical or emotional health problem:
- Unwarranted aggression toward people or animals
- Excessive withdrawal, hiding, or shyness
- Increased anxiety including destructive behaviors, pacing, or excessive barking
Let Balanced Pets Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy
As a responsible pet owner, it’s important to be aware of the signs of a healthy dog. By knowing the signs of health, you can provide the best care for your pet. Regular check-ups, open communication with your vet, and prompt response to concerning signs and symptoms are critical to maintaining your dog’s health.
Schedule your visit with the veterinary professionals at Balanced Pets in Traveler’s Rest, SC. We offer both traditional and alternative treatments to ensure your dog’s health and well-being in all areas.