Understanding when your dog is unwell is one of the most important aspects of pet ownership, as finding something at the wrong time can have a disastrous effect on your pet. Taking your dog to the vet annually is undoubtedly one of the things you’ll have to commit to, but taking the time to understand your dog – and their relevant health needs – can be just as important – more so, even. By knowing when your dog isn’t doing to well, you can circumnavigate disaster and ensure your furry friend gets the attention they need. How do you do this, though? In this article, we take a look at a few easy ways you can evaluate your dog’s health so you can help them feel as good as possible. 

What should you look for when evaluating your dog’s health?

Before you trawl through dozens of pages of pet insurance reviews, remember that you can perform quite a few health-related checks on your dog all by yourself. The first thing you should be doing is checking your dog’s coat regularly, particularly as you can do this when you give your dog its regular brushing or wash. It should often be clear whether your dog is not enjoying being cleaned due to soreness in certain spots – if this is the case, have a look for signs of any lumps or sores and make a note of what they look like so that you can inform your vet. it is also during these regular cleanings that you should be keeping an eye out for things like dry skin, dandruff and fleas. If you find your dog does have fleas, you can remove them from his coat using a fine-toothed flea comb – it’s a good idea to dip the comb in soapy water, as the fleas will drown in the water, and soap prevents them from jumping out of the bowl. It is then a good idea to consult your vet about the best treatment for the fleas.

What you should be checking next

After a thorough inspection of the coat, you should be looking to your dog’s eyes, ears, nose and mouth. Generally, the eyes of your dog should have no redness or runny discharge. When looking at the ears, again make sure there is no discharge, but also give them a little sniff, as an unpleasant smell can mean  an ear infection. If you are cleaning your dog’s teeth regularly (you should be, after all), you make sure that their gums are a healthy pink colour, as they should never be pale, bluish, bright red or bleeding. If this is the case with their gums, it could indicate a serious underlying problem and you should make an appointment for the vet as soon as possible.

Start evaluating early

Evaluating your dog is a great idea because it will help you to get to know your furry friend better – not only will you know how and when to take of problems, but it’ll give you the opportunity to bond with your dog as well. There’s no doubt they’ll love the attention, so if you start out in your evaluation routine from when they’re a puppy, they’ll be used to it all of their healthy and safe dog life!