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How to check if your dog is healthy and happy in the Isle of Wight in 15 steps
Do you ever wonder if your dog is really okay? As a dog owner, you have a responsibility to look after your furry friend's physical and mental well-being. It's a good idea to stop every now and then and ask yourself if your dog is happy and healthy. To assess this, you will need to look at physical well-being, as well as any psychological problems including boredom and frustration. With regular check-ups you can keep informed whether your canine friend is really satisfied and in tip-top shape.
1. Make sure you know what's normal in your dog. Keep the big picture in mind and learn what is normal for your dog. Familiarize yourself with how far the dog wants to walk, how he reacts when you get home from work, how good-humored or cranky he is, how much water he drinks, what his bowel movements look like, how often a day he has to defecate, how the insides his ear looks like and what his breath smells like.
* For example, some dogs are greedy eaters while other dogs are picky. If your dog is usually a greedy eater, it is a clear sign if the dog refuses his food. However, if you have a lap dog that turns his nose up for anything but the best beef, refusing a food bowl is less troubling.
* If you know all of these things in great detail, then you are in the best position to notice changes that may indicate the dog is not okay 2 Rate your dog's emotions by behavior and body language. Dogs experience emotions such as sadness, depression, boredom and frustration. The trick is to recognize these emotions as the owner. Usually the first sign you can notice is a change in behavior or body language.
* For example, be suspicious when the open dog that always greets you at the door is withdrawn and does not come out of his basket when you get home.
* Pay attention to your dog's normal body language. Does he keep his ears or tail lower than normal, or does he collapse or adopt a dominant position when approached? These are body language signs that can indicate that something is wrong. American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal
* A hint that your dog is bored or frustrated includes destructive behavior, digging, whining, barking, and squeaking. In this case, the dog uses a repressive activity, such as chewing furniture, as an outlet for his frustration. TIP FROM AN EXPERT Pippa Elliott, MRCVS
Veterinarian Dr. Elliott is a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in veterinary surgery and working in a companion animal veterinary practice. In 1987 she graduated in veterinary medicine and surgery from the University of Glasgow. She has worked at the same veterinary clinic in her hometown for over 20 years. Pippa Elliott, MRCVS. Veterinarian Pippa Elliott, licensed veterinarian: "Knowing what normal behavior is for your dog is extremely valuable. Should their behavior change, there could be a physical cause, such as ill health, or they could be unhappy about something."
Look at the dog's facial expression. Many dogs are capable of expressing emotions, such as depression, on their faces. If your dog does not normally have gloomy-looking eyes or sad expressions, but now suddenly has, then this is likely an expression of the dog's current emotions. e aware of any physical changes in your dog. Physical changes can be symptomatic of mental stress or depression. For example, notice if your dog stops grooming its coat. Depressed or sick animals often stop taking care of themselves and their coat deteriorates, becoming coarse, messy and unkempt. ackle possible causes of your dog's unhappiness. If your dog is sad or misbehaves, you should try to find the cause of the irritation and then try to change the situation if you can. Not all problems can be solved, of course, but some can!
* If your dog is stressed about a new routine or a new home, for example, it cannot always be changed, but you can put your dog at ease and try to make the changes as easy as possible. Method 2 of 2: Assessing your dog's physical healthake sure and inspect your dog's coat and body regularly. One of your duties as an owner is to groom your dog on a regular basis. While keeping his coat in good condition and tangle-free, grooming your dog is an ideal time to do a mini physical exam at home. This will help you become more familiar with your dog's healthy body. If something changes in the state of your dog's body, there is a good chance you will notice a problem early on.
* When conducting a physical examination, it is good to follow a fixed inspection pattern so that you do not accidentally miss something. Most vets have the routine where they start at the head and work backwards. tep back and rate your dog's overall appearance. Watch how the dog is standing or sitting. Does he look comfortable and relaxed, or does he have trouble getting up or lying down? Watch your dog's breathing and count the number of breaths he takes per minute while resting. Normally it is 20-30 per minute. Small animal Internal Medicine. Nelson & Couto. Mosby.
* At normal room temperature, not when it is very hot and the dog is panting to cool down, his breathing should be unhurried and difficult to see. Excessive breathing movements, especially when the dog is using his abdominal muscles to get air in and out of his lungs, is a sign of breathing difficulty and should be sorted out. Small animal Internal Medicine. Nelson & Couto. Mosby.
* What is the weight of the dog? Does it gain or lose weight, and is it in step with an increase or decrease in appetite. It is worth having any weight changes monitored by your vet as it can be an important indicator of ill health.
* Is the dog alert, bright-eyed and tail wagging, or is it hanging its head and slow with its tail between its paws?heck your dog's eyes. Using your index finger and thumb, gently separate the eyelids. If his eyes are clear and you can see your reflection in them, then the eyes are normal. Indications of ill health include yellowing (jaundice) of the whites of the eyes, inflammation of the whites (may indicate an allergy or infection), and a cloudy surface (an ulcer or possibly increased pressure from the inside of the eye). Small animal Internal Medicine. Nelson & Couto. Mosby.
* Check for discharge from the eye. A thick yellow or green discharge is an indication of an infection.
* Eyes are fragile structures and if you suspect a problem, seek veterinary help. Ignoring a serious problem could cause the dog to lose sight. heck your dog's teeth. Lift your dog's lip to view his teeth. Clean, healthy teeth look like ours (except for a different shape) with pink gums and white enamel. Look for brownish-yellow tartar deposits on the teeth, inflamed or bleeding gums (gum disease), or foul-smelling breath from the mouth. All these signs indicate that dental care is needed. Small animal Internal Medicine. Nelson & Couto. Mosby. ook at your dog's nose and touch him. It's a gossip that a cold, wet nose is a sign of good health. Many perfectly healthy dogs have warm, dry noses, so don't panic if this is the case. Learn what's normal for your dog's nose. Certain autoimmune skin problems can affect the nose, so if the leathery cap of the nose is inflamed, crusty, or bleeding, seek veterinary help. Small animal Internal Medicine. Nelson & Couto. Mosby. 6 ears of your dog. Look at the inside of his ears and compare them. They should both look the same. You should be able to see the entrance to the ear canal as a dark hole. The edges of the ear flap should resemble normal skin and not be thickened, inflamed, red, or crusty. If you notice any of the latter, or if there is a discharge in the ear (ranging from thick black grease to smelly pus), go to the vet. Small animal Internal Medicine. Nelson & Couto. Mosby.
* Don't forget to smell your dog's ears! It should smell no different from dog. If there's an unpleasant smell that makes you recoil, go to the vet. nspect your dog's coat. Make sure the coat is flake-free, shiny and soft (in breeds that don't have wiry coats). Push the fur away to view the skin. There should be no greasy feeling to the coat and no dandruff, black spots in the coat, inflamed skin, scabs or skin discoloration. The latter all indicate skin diseases and are reasons for having a vet examine the coat. heck for bumps and swellings. Run your hand over your dog's body to check for bumps and swelling. It is recommended that you have any bumps checked by your vet, as even harmless looking bumps have the potential to be something more serious.
* If you are unsure whether it is necessary to go to the vet, measure the size of the bump and write it down. Check the bump again after a few weeks and measure it again. If the bump changes quickly, is inflamed, or is bothering the dog, a vet visit is essential. Small animal Internal Medicine. Nelson & Couto. Mosby. ook below your dog's tail. It's easy to miss this area, but it's important to check, as problems with inflamed anal glands or cancerous growths around the anus are best detected quickly. Pay close attention to the symmetry of the anal ring (if one side is more swollen than the other), cavities (ducts) that have discharge or leakage, or bumps that line up directly on the skin. Small animal Internal Medicine. Nelson & Couto. Mosby. heck testicles or mammary glands. Make it a point to check that your male dog has equally sized testicles. Enlargement on one side can be a sign of testicular cancer. Same with female dogs, run your hand over both sides of the chest area to check for any bumps. Any abnormality should be checked by a veterinarian. Small animal Internal Medicine. Nelson & Couto. Mosby.
* Whining is a way for dogs to indicate they need something, usually food or water, love or human affection. But if you've already provided your dog with these things, he will likely need a vet check-up to make sure nothing is physically wrong.
* If your dog has contracted an illness or condition, you may feel guilty for allowing it to happen. But remember it's not your fault; all dogs pick up things at some point in their lives.