Author, Darlene Wagner, of Professional Pet Sitting Etc.
As a pet parent, your dog’s health and well-being is of the utmost importance. Wouldn’t it be great if there was some way to ensure he is healthy and disease free, rather than waiting for him to show symptoms and/or get sick? Well, the good news is, there are a few things you can check regularly (at least once a month) for early signs of illness. And, even better news, when detected early, you may be able to avoid worsening symptoms and illness all together!
As a devoted pet parent, you know your dog’s body best. As you rub him, hug him, bathe him and play with him, you should be able to easily notice any major changes that take place, identify any bumps and lumps, and recognize any injuries. If anything appears out of the ordinary, it may be best for you and your pooch to pay your vet a visit.
One of the easiest ways to determine if your dog may be sick or not is to look into his eyes. They should be clear and free from any redness or discharge. Eye discharge can be a sign of anything from allergies, to glaucoma, to an infection. Always talk with your vet to get at the root cause of your dog’s eye discharge, as some causes can result in blindness or loss of an eye if left untreated.
They should be examined frequently and cleaned as needed. The inside ear should appear to be clean without any build-up of wax or discharge, and no foul smell. Special ear cleaners are available, if needed, but build-up and odor can indicate a fungal or bacterial infection or an ear mite infestation. Warning ~ always be careful when you handle ears that may be infected. They can be quite sensitive!
A healthy nose can be cold, warm, wet or dry, but there should be no crusting on the nose surface and no bleeding or discharge coming from inside. A crusty nose can be the result of something as simple as digging and nosing the ground, but it can also indicate an inflammatory skin disease.
#5 Mouth and Teeth.
As covered in our previous article “My Pet Has Bad Breath, What Can I Do?” bad breath can be a sign of a digestive issue or an overgrowth of bacteria which, if left untreated, can cause organ problems. Teeth should appear white or cream-colored and gums a healthy pink. Gums that are dark, blue, red or white can indicate illness. Also check for any sores, bumps, lacerations and anything else that is out of the ordinary.
Check your dog’s nails regularly to ensure they’re not flaking, cracking or breaking easily. These signs can be caused by a bacterial or fungal infection, an immune-deficiency disease, trauma or a tumor.
#7 Coat and Skin.
Your dog’s coat and skin should be free from any bald patches, scaling, dryness, fleas, crusting and spots that look infected. Some issues with your dog’s coat and skin can be the result of under-grooming, or lack of grooming, which allows a lot of dead, flaky skin to accumulate under your pet’s coat. And too many baths can cause dry skin and flaking, so it is best to wash your dog only when he really needs it (like after a good romp in a mud hole!).
#8 Overall Attitude.
One of the easiest ways to tell that your dog is not feeling well is by their attitude. If your dog is less playful than usual, appears to be sulking or sad, or is less sociable, tending to shy away, he could be ill and you should seek advice from your veterinarian.
Check these eight items vigilantly for a happy and healthy dog!
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About the Owner and Professional Pet Sitting Etc
Dorinne Whynott, is a long time animal professional. She is a successful business owner establishing one of the largest pet sitting companies in New Hampshire since 1990. Click to Read her complete History.
Professional Pet Sitting Etc. is a leading business in the pet care field and continues to grow since 1990. It is an AWARD WINNING business, having been awarded the 2015 Best Pet Sitting , 2015 Best Dog Walker, Business of the Year Awards in 1996, 1997, 2006 and 2010. It boasts 30+ amazing pet sitters on staff, over 3000 clients in 38 cities from Nashua to Concord, NH. Hundreds of satisfied client testimonials can be found on their website and more 5 star reviews on their Facebook page, Google+ page and more. They have sustained an A+ rating with the BBB, A rating with Angie’s List and are unmatched in the Pet Sitting Industry in New Hampshire.
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