Personal Dog Check Ups
Are Very Important

For all dog owners, dog check ups, regular monitoring and “examinations” of your dog will give you a better idea of the animal’s overall health and prove as good “quality” time for both you and your dog. Also, performing these exams at home may help you catch a problem in the early phases, and certainly before it becomes life threatening.

It is very important that you learn to watch for signs of disease or injury in your pet. A regular home health examination is one simple and easy way to keep your dog healthy and in good condition.

The list of things you can do during this time could be long but below we’ve taken the time to list a few of the most basic and easy to read signs of your dog being sick or “off color”.

In addition to the usual dog check ups steps, these steps may help you in deciding your pet’s actual state of health and catching something before it really gets bad.


First things first. A great place to start your dog check ups is with your dogs head. Checking your dogs ears on a regular basis is very important. Dog breeds whose ears stand up can collect dirt or dust as well as parasites such as ear mites or ticks. If you own a dog breed whose ears lie flat against the head, moisture and heat will be trapped forming a "playground" for bacteria or parasites. If you see a "dirt" like substance deep within the ear canal (and if your dog is shaking its head), your dog may have ear mites requiring a trip to the vet.

Next, on to the eyes. As you pet your dog check its eyes - they should be bright and clear. Many times, older dogs will have a blue-gray haze in the eyes. This is a natural part of the aging process. It is also a good idea to check for scratches or blemishes on the cornea.

Your dogs mouth is the next place to visit while doing your dog check ups. Open your pets mouth gently with your fingers and smell. If you observe a foul odor this could mean dental neglect or some other tooth or mouth problem. Also while in the mouth check the dogs gums and teeth. Gums should be firm and pink.
Concerning the dogs teeth, you should hold them to the same standards as your own. Broken or chipped teeth especially can cause infections that could lead to serious medical problems down the road and bad breath can mask other problems. Knowing exactly how to clean dog teeth is so important!

Now, move on down to the dogs neck, shoulders and legs. Check for ticks and fleas. Look for evidence of "flea dirt" and scabs. Also look for cuts and bumps. Other things to check for: the coat should be shiny and as clean as possible without mats or tangles. Check your dogs paws, pads, toes and toenails, as well as its rectal and groin area. If you can, roll your dog on its back and look at its chest, underarms, inner legs and belly while giving it a good belly rub as the last step in your dog check ups.

Also Check Your Dog For The Following:

1) Build up in the tooth area. Also bad breath - which may suggest gingivitis or other tooth/gum problems.

2) Clean ears. Is there wax build up? Do you see ticks, mites or other parasites inside? Is a bad odor present?

3) Are the eyes discolored or irritated? Is extensive matter present?

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4) A "greasy" coat? Is the skin grey white or red and irritated? Do you find evidence of fleas or other parasites? Is the smell of the animals coat on your hands, after checking it with your fingers, fishy, rank or offensive?

A doggy odor, while common, is still a sign of a low level of health.

If your answers to many of the above areas are "YES", then you should plan some type of action to discontinue this cycle of bad health. First and foremost, diet is the best place to start.

Consult with your vet and/or check into possible alternative therapies. In the end, your pet's overall health is up to you, so these early warning signs found during dog check ups should not be overlooked.

A clean bill of health is the most valuable gift you can present to your pets- next to your love and attention.

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A dog is a dog except when he is facing you. Then he is Mr. Dog." - Haitian Farmer