Having a dog is a great responsibility and they definitely should be treated as family members. Just as any other member, they have their own needs and demand full commitment. Dogs are unable to tell you if something is off, they show it to you through some behaviors. Therefore, health checks are mandatory if you want to keep your pet safe, sound, and healthy. If you notice something that is concerning, then you need to take your dog to the vet as soon as possible. Therefore, here are some things you need to pay attention to and be a responsible dog owner.
Skin and Hair
Regular skin and hair checks are mandatory. Dogs can have skin problems that are usually caused by pests and they must be vaccinated and groomed regularly. Skin problems are usually the cause of discomfort for your dog. You can examine their skin and hair with your bare eyes and take them to the trained dog groomers to groom their fur. Firstly, you need to follow the behavior of your dog and see if they bite, scratch and chew on their skin. You need to look in the hidden places like pads and under their legs. There could be fleas that appear like black soot droppings. Rashes are not so uncommon and they usually appear like red circles and spots. If your pet’s hair is not groomed regularly, there can be fur clumps that will make your dog look neglected. Additionally, nails need to be cut regularly because they can cause huge problems like paws dysfunction and deformity.
Teeth and Gums
Teeth and gums must be regularly checked. But, you need to be extra cautious when you are checking their gums and teeth because some dogs will just not allow it. Most of these checks can be conducted by simply lifting the upper lip. There are some things to pay attention to. Firstly, if there is brown tartar building around their teeth (especially on the back teeth), it is the alarm that something is going on. Gums and gum pain can be quite problematic. Red gums lump on the gums or under the tongue, and problems near teeth roots can be very painful. Another indicator that something is not fine is a bad smell. Vets will gladly give you advice on how to take care of your dog’s gums and teeth. They can suggest to you what are the diet solutions if your dog is not a huge fan of the toothbrush.
It might sound cliche but eyes can tell a lot, especially if someone cannot talk. Dog’s eyes will tell you a lot; all the emotions and if something is not okay. Dog’s eyes go through some reactions just as humans’ eyes do. Namely, the dog’s eyes should be bright and cheerful. A normal amount of eye-watering caused by regular tearing up will result in black residue being built up in the corners of your dog’s eyes and this is normal for most dogs. But some changes might indicate some health issues and here are the things you should pay attention to. Just as previously said, it is normal for your dog to have watery eyes, but excessive tearing up is not a normal condition. It may indicate eye inflammation or infection. If there is a green or yellow discharge, it can be alarming. On the other hand, if your dog has a new habit of squinting its eye, it may indicate pain. If there is any redness, it demands an instant reaction.
You need to learn what is normal for your dog. Floppy and hairy ears can hide a lot of problems. Therefore, regular ear checks are mandatory. Hairs themselves are not a problem, but it is usually recommended to groom them. Small amounts of wax are normal and can be protective. On the other hand, a lot of vax discharge will make your dog scratch their ears which can lead to inflammation and infection. You need to follow the advice given by professionals and if you notice a black and sticky discharge from their ears, or if there is a bad smell and pain in and around ears, it is an alarming thing and you need to pay a visit to your nearest vet.
Dogs cannot speak but they have their ways to show us if something is not good. Whenever you notice some unusual behavior of your dog, you need to physically examine them and take them to a specialist.