While we are still enjoying the last few weeks of summer it is important not to forget about our four-legged friends. At Happy Dog this month we’re focusing on importance of regular health checks. In addition to this, we’ll also be telling you 'How to... do a basic dog health check at home'. Read on to find our more.
As pet owners we want our dogs to live the longest, happiest and healthiest lives possible with us. Regular health check-ups are an essential part of keeping any dog healthy. In fact, according to PDSA, dogs should visit their vets at least annually. Regular checks can significantly improve the early diagnosis and treatment of issues which may impact on your dog's health.
How to do a Basic Dog Health Check at Home
Running a basic health check on your dog is a really good way to check they are fit and well and that you are picking up on any potential problems that may need more attention. Here's how to do a basic health check:
Check Your Dog's Teeth
Often pet owners are amazed at how bad their dog’s teeth are when they visit their vet because their dog has gone off its food. This is because we assume when they are eating all is well and we rarely take time to actually look. Check for cracks and plaque build up. The best way to avoid dental issues is with regular cleaning using a doggy toothbrush and paste.
Look Inside Your Dog's Ears
Ears are one of the biggest areas for vet visits. It's really important to look at the inside of the ears, there shouldn't be any discharge and the skin shouldn't be red or itchy.
Look into Your Dog's Eyes
It's really important to check your dog's eyes to ensure there's no discharge, especially at the corners of their eyes. Redness around the eyes can also be a sign of an eye problem.
Your Dog Should Have a Soft, Wet Nose
Make sure that there's no discharge coming out of the nose. It should simply be soft and wet.
Check Over Your Dog's Feet and Claws
Feel with your hand over each leg. You are feeling for any abnormal swellings or any sore patches. You can also have a look at their feet at the same time. One by one you can lift up their toes and have a good look. You are looking for any dirt or material stuck in between their feet that might cause irritation.
It's Also Important to Check Your Dog's Back-End
It's also important to check the back-end of your dog (which isn't so lovely). You can do this by gently lifting the tail and having a good look around. You are looking for it to be nice and clean, no redness or any areas of swelling.
Look for Your Dog's Tummy to be Relaxed
Last but not the least have a look at their tummy. It should be nice and relaxed with their normal colouring to the skin. As always, if you have any queries or doubts we always recommend you speak or visit your vet.