Simple Checks for a Happy and Healthy Pup

Thursday July 04, 2024

We all want our furry friends to live long, happy, and healthy lives. But sometimes, it’s hard to know when a playful quirk might be a sign of something more serious. Here at Dig-In, we believe knowledge is power! So, before you reach for the car keys to rush to the vet, let’s explore some simple checks you can do at home to assess your dog’s well-being.

Remember, these checks are not a substitute for professional veterinary care. If you have any concerns, always consult your vet. However, by becoming familiar with your dog’s normal behaviour and habits, you can catch potential issues early on.

Eyes on the Prize (and Everything Else!)

Our canine companions rely heavily on their eyes and nose to navigate the world. So, a quick visual inspection can reveal a lot. Are your dog’s eyes bright and clear, free of redness or discharge? Is their third eyelid (the little pink membrane in the corner) visible in excess? Any changes in these areas could indicate an irritation or infection.

Next, take a sniff! Doggy breath isn’t exactly known for being minty fresh, but there’s a difference between a slight “doggy odour” and a foul smell. A bad odour could indicate dental problems, digestive issues, or even something more serious.

Listen Up!

Our furry friends can’t exactly tell us how they’re feeling, so it’s important to pay attention to their sounds. Is their bark sharp and strong, or weak and raspy? Are they whimpering or whining when they wouldn’t normally? Changes in vocalization can be a sign of pain or discomfort. Similarly, pay attention to their breathing. Is it rapid and shallow, or deep and regular? Any abnormal breathing patterns warrant a closer look.

Feeling Fine?

A quick physical check can also reveal a lot. Run your hands gently over your dog’s body, feeling for any lumps, bumps, or areas of pain. Is their fur greasy, matted, or losing its shine? A healthy coat is a good indicator of overall health.

Appetite for Adventure (and Dinner!)

Most dogs are enthusiastic eaters. So, a sudden loss of appetite or a change in eating habits can be a red flag. Similarly, keep an eye on their bathroom behaviour. Are they having accidents in the house? Is their stool firm and consistent, or loose and watery? Changes in both frequency and consistency can signal digestive issues.

Energy Levels: Zoomies or Snoozes?

Every dog has its own personality, but a noticeable change in energy levels can be a cause for concern. Is your normally playful pup suddenly lethargic? Or is your mellow dog bouncing off the walls? Neither extreme is necessarily a sign of something wrong, but a significant shift in their typical activity level is worth noting.

Keeping a Positive Attitude

Now, don’t stress! The goal of these checks is not to make you paranoid, but rather to become more familiar with your dog’s baseline health. Having this knowledge allows you to identify any changes that might be a sign of something needing further attention.

When to Call the Big Guns

If you notice any of the following, it’s time to schedule a visit with your veterinarian:

  • Loss of appetite for more than 24 hours
  • Vomiting or diarrhea for more than a day
  • Lethargy or excessive fatigue
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Signs of pain or discomfort
  • Changes in urination or bowel movements
  • Visible wounds or skin problems
  • Excessive behavioural changes like aggression or anxiety

Remember, prevention is key! Regular check-ups with your vet are essential for maintaining your dog’s health. Beyond these basic checks, consider a well-rounded approach to canine wellness. A healthy diet, regular exercise, and plenty of love and playtime go a long way in keeping your furry friend happy and thriving.

Dig-In for a Happy Gut!

While these checks won’t diagnose any underlying issues, maintaining a healthy gut microbiome can play a significant role in your dog’s overall health and well-being. Dig-In Canine Prebiotics are a fantastic way to support your pup’s digestive system, promoting the growth of good bacteria and aiding in nutrient absorption. A happy gut can lead to a happier, healthier dog!

By incorporating these simple checks into your routine, you can become just a little bit better at monitoring your dog’s health. Remember, a happy and healthy pup makes for a happy and healthy home!  Just like you wouldn’t ignore the rumbling in your own tummy,  keeping an eye (and ear, and nose!) on your dog’s well-being shows you care.  Early detection is key to preventing bigger problems down the road.