Tuesday, 10 April 2012

10 Basic Dog Health Checks

Keeping an eye out for basic health problems is one of the most important things you can do for your canine friends around you, and doing so can save you a lot of time, money and most importantly your Dogs health in the long run. Here’s my check-list of ailments to look out for on a regular basis.

1.Eating & Drinking

One of the most basic problems to look out for; if your Dog goes off his/her food or drink for more than 24 hours it’s time to visit a vet, especially if they are usually a big eater. Remember you know your Dog better than anyone and if you think something is up then it probably is.

2.Out On Walks

Another basic check is to watch the way your Dog moves when out on walks. How do they walk/run? Do they seem stiff? Overly tired? Have a limp? Coughing or excessive panting could also indicate a problem. Once again, if something seems out of the ordinary visit the vet.

3.Body Check

A body check should be performed around once a week (on average). Gently run your hands over your Dogs body and check for any signs of discomfort, lumps, cuts or inflammation.

4. Toilet Habits

Keeping an eye on your pooches poop is important! The four things to keep an eye out for are constipation, blood, mucus and diarrhoea. Also, if your Dogs urine looks dark, cloudy or bloody then a trip to the vets is in order. Regularity should also be a concern, along with making sure the stools appearance in consistent.

5.Weight Check

Although it’s not necessary to be perform meticulous checks, keeping an eye on your Dogs weight is very important. Obesity is the cause of a huge range of health problems in Dogs and should of course be avoided. Keep your Dog on a steady, well balanced diet and if you start to see a problem act sooner rather than later.

6.Eye Check

Once every week or so, check for ingrowing eyelashes and hair around the eyes that looks like it’s causing a problem – hair that is could be cut by you if your careful. Your Dogs eyes should be clear and his/her pupils should be the same size. Also, check for excessive discharge and signs of irritation.

7.Mouth Check

Regularly check the mouth for signs of anything out of the ordinary. The gums should be pink and darker or redder patches could indicate a problem. Check for lumps and growths and make sure that the teeth are clear and none are obviously loose. Unusually bad breath can sometimes be an indication of digestive problems .

8.Foot Check

Long nails should be regularly trimmed using Dog clippers or a file. This should only be performed if you feel confident in doing so as trimming can sometimes cause bleeding. Examine your Dogs feet for any growths, cuts or grazes.

9.Nose Check

As usual, check your Dogs nose for any excessive discharge and make sure that your Dogs breathing is unobstructed. As a general rule your Dogs nose should be cool and moist.

10.Ear Check

Your Dogs ears should also be regularly checked for the usual, discharge or discomfort. Keep an eye out for any excessive wax build up, which can be gently removed with cotton wall. Swelling or any bad odour can be a cause for concern.

These 10 checks should be performed on a regular basis, and doing so will ensure you catch a lot of medical problems sooner rather than later. The main thing to remember is that if anything looks out of the ordinary don’t hesitate to consult your vet.


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