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  • Writer's pictureBackyard Dog Care and Boarding

10 Obvious Signs of a Healthy Dog

Updated: Feb 6, 2022

Do you ever wonder if your dog is truly healthy and happy? As a loving dog owner, you have a responsibility to care for your dog's physical and mental well being.

In order to assess this, you will need to look for physical fitness, as well as mental wellness. Here are a few signs that your furry companion is healthy:

1. Playfulness

A healthy dog is usually active and playful that loves to play around. It will enjoy play sessions, walks, and other activities with it's human companions.

They will communicate their playful mood by going into a play bow. In a play bow, your dog's rear is in the air and chest and front legs are lowered to the ground. Play bows are an obvious sign that your dog is happy. You can encourage your dog's playful behavior by offering them some healthy treats.

2. Healthy skin and coat

The overall condition of your furry pal's skin and coat are good indicators of its health. Healthy skin and coat reflects your dog's health and emotional wellbeing.

A healthy coat, whether short or long, should be shiny, pliable, and smooth, not brittle or coarse. It should be free of dandruff, bald spots, or excessive oiliness.

A healthy skin should be flexible, smooth, and clear. It should be free of not grease, flakes, scabs, growths and rashes. If you regularly check and groom your dog's coat and skin, you will also have a better chance of detecting any problems.

3. Regular Bowel Movements

Healthy bowel movements are often an indication of a healthy pup. A healthy dog's bowel movements should be:

  • Slightly firm in consistency

  • In log shapes that can be easily broken into smaller pieces

  • Chocolate brown in color

  • Free of blood, mucus, worms, eggs, a chalky white discoloration

Change in bowel movements could be due to a change in diet, stress, allergies, parasites, bacterial infection, or some other disease. Although not very pleasing, observing your dog's stool while it is fresh is the easiest way to catch irregularities.

4. Regular bladder

Normal color and consistency of urine is often a sign of a healthy dog. Urinary problems can cause pain and discomfort to your furry pal. Here's what you need to know about urine color for dogs.

  • Your dog’s urine should be of transparent yellow color.

  • If their urine is dark / bright yellow, it might be a sign of dehydration.

  • If your dog’s urine is orange, it might be a sign of jaundice, gallbladder problems, pancreatic problems, liver disease, or damaged blood cells.

  • If your dog’s urine is pink or cloudy, it might be a sign of a urinary tract infection, clotting diseases, or cancer.

  • If your dog is peeing inside the house, it might be a sign of distress due to a health issue.

It is important to pay attention to any changes in your dog's urine.

5. Clean, Odor-Free Ears

Another sign of healthy dogs are clean and odor-free ears. It’s normal for dogs' ears to get dirty. Keeping our dogs’ ears clean is a significant part of their grooming routine.

Here's what a healthy dog's ear should look like:

  • The skin inside your dog’s ears should be light pink and clean.

  • There should be a little wax, but a large amount of wax is abnormal.

  • Ears should smell good; no foul odor

  • There should be no redness or inflammation inside the ear.

  • No hairs should be blocking the opening to the ear

  • Ears should have no discharge like pus or blood

6. Sleeping

Dogs need sleep to rest, recharge, repair and stay happy. They sleep a lot more than us. A healthy dog usually sleeps around 16 hours a day.

Healthy and growing puppies can sleep between 18 and 20 hours a day. If your dog doesn't sleep enough, this can be a sign of stress, discomfort, or lack of exercise. If you notice significant changes in your dog's sleep, it is best to consult your vet.

7. Bright Eyes

A healthy dog's eyes are bright, clear, and shiny. Here's what you should look for a healthy dog's eyes.

  • The eyelids should not be inflamed or swollen.

  • There should be no discharge from the eyes.

  • The whites of your dog’s eyes should not have red or yellow tinge.

  • Eyelashes should not rub the eyeball.

8. Appropriate energy levels

A healthy dog should have appropriate energy levels. It should be eager to spend time with it's human family. A healthy dog greets you at the door when you arrive and comes to you for playtime.

9. Healthy weight and good muscle tone

A healthy dog’s weight is lean and consistent that doesn’t change much. You should be able to feel your dog's rib-cage area below the surface of the skin without much padding.

Don’t let your dog get fat by giving him too many unhealthy treats. Obese dogs might develop serious health problems.

If you notice your dog has dropped a noticeable amount of weight, a checkup is recommended as this could also be a sign of health issues.

10. Teeth and gums

A healthy dog has healthy gums that are firm and pink, black, or spotted. Adult dogs usually have around 42 permanent teeth while puppies have 23 baby teeth. In order to ensure their gums are healthy, brush your dog's teeth every few days to remove tartar buildup and plaque.

Final Thoughts

Every dog is different, but a happy dog usually appears relaxed and comfortable. Your dog’s level of emotions greatly depends upon their environment, diet, socialization, and how their human companion treats them.

If your dog seems anxious or stressed, you should consult your veterinarian. There might be an underlying cause for this.

Happy petting!

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