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How healthy is your dog and what are the signs and symptoms you need to keep an eye out for?

How healthy is your dog and what does an healthy dog look like?

The best way to describe a healthy dog is one as having:

  • A happy and contented disposition, e.g. interested in what is going on around him and his family, being included in games, going for walks and or rides in the car
  • Bright shiny eyes.
  • A healthy shiny coat.
  • A good appetite and is able to maintain an ideal weight for his age and breed on a regular basis.

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Signs and symptoms you need to keep an eye out for, that your pet is not well

One problem for owners with regard to ascertaining whether their dogs are not well, is that in order to survive, Mother Nature has made them experts at hiding their aches and pains.

Dogs want to appear to the outside world that they are healthy, and in so doing, they make themselves less vulnerable to predators.

Many signs of disease in dogs are non-specific, which indicates some symptoms are common to more than one disease.

Let's look at some common non-specific signs of illness in dogs that should concern you, and prompt you to make an immediate appointment with your vet for a full health evaluation:

  • Lack of appetite or anorexia is frequently one of the first signs of an illness in dogs.
  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Less active and sleeping more - dogs that don't feel well are very often show little interest in playing or going for their walks; sometimes owners can mistakenly mistake lack of interest in exercise as a sign of aging.
  • Weakness - weakness can be displayed as loss of balance and coordination.
  • Lethargy and a general lack of interest in what is happening in his environment.
  • Changes in drinking habits - either too little or not enough water.
  • Frequently urinating or blood in his urine.
  • Not bothering to groom himself.
  • Bad Breath - this could indicate unhealthy gums and teeth.
  • Coughing.
  • Trouble breathing.

Generally speaking advanced symptoms are more obvious, whereas initial symptoms of diseases can be subtle and you must pay attention and look closely to see the first clues.

Suffice to say if your dog is suffering from any of the above signs, don't dilly dally, pick up your phone, call your vet and make an appointment to have him checked out straight away.

It is far better to be safe than sorry!

Image: Courtesy of The Whole Dog Journal

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This article and information forms part of the Carole's Doggie World Library and is presented for informational purposes only.The information is not intended to be a substitute for visits to your local vet. Instead, the content offers the reader information researched and written by Carole Curtis for

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