A CHECK A DAY KEEPS THE VET AWAY!
Doing daily checks on your dog can make all the difference in the world. The quicker you can
catch something the more simple and cost effective the treatment or solution can be.
It is important to watch how your dog walks, sits, runs, interacts, eats, swallows, defecates, urinates,
looks, feels, etc. Any deviation from the norm could be a potential problem.
Here is a check list to help keep your dog in tip top shape from the tip of his nose to the end
of his toes;
Check between the toes and the pads of the feet for any cuts, abbrasions or foreign bodies such
as burrs or foxtails.
Usually if there is any damage to the toes or pads you will notice a change in gait or limping or
such behaviors as chewing or licking of the paws.
This is also a great time to do some trimming of the dogs nails. Overgrowth of nails can cause
the nails to curl up painfully into the pads of the feet or can become entangled in carpet and get ripped out.
How do you know if they are too long? They should just barely touch the floor when a dog is
walking. Any longer and they can become a problem.
Check your dogs teeth often for tartar build up, cracked, missing or broken teeth, smelly breath,
discoloration of gums, bleeding or unusual growths or lumps in the mouth indicate a problem. Difficulties in chewing,
swallowing, excessive salivating or drooling can also be indicitive of a problem.
Brushing your dogs teeth is very important and can help prevent tooth decay and heart problems.
You can purchase special dog toothpaste and toothbrushes at most pet stores. Do not use human tooth paste on your pet.
The flouride is not good for them. If you train your pet young to have their teeth brushed, the easier it will be to
keep the teeth clean its whole life without costly vet cleanings.
Run your hands over your dogs body keeping an eye out for lumps and bumps. Take a good look
at the coat making sure its free of foreign bodies and that it looks shiny and healthy.
This can be done while sitting quietly watching TV. This is also a great time to do some grooming
on the coat to keep the tangles out and also to look for fleas and ticks.
Also keep a close eye on your dogs weight. Any sudden fluxuations in weight can also indicate
a potential health problem.
Check the ears frequently for signs of redness or irritation. If you see signs of strange
discharge, or smell a foul odor, or your dog is scratching or shaking its head, there is a problem.
It is important to clean the ears frequently and to keep them dry and free of hair. Also keep
in mind if your dog has a sudden change in hearing, this could indicate a problem.
It is ULTRA important to keep the area around the eyes clean. If you clean the area with non-alcoholic
baby wipes once or twice a day it will help to keep down eye stains and bacteria. If you see excessive discharge, strange
colored discharge, excessive tearing, pinkness or yellowing of the whites of the eyes, an opaque film covering the
eye, a or change of vision seek vet care immediately.
Keep your dog clean and trimmed in the private areas. If you see any redness or irritation
or strange discharge, consult your vet.
In some dogs the anal glands become impacted and need to be expressed. In this case you may
see, redness, excessive licking, or dragging of the area on the flooring.
Keep an eye out for excessive licking, irritation, redness or discharge from the vulva or penis or
abnormal bleeding. Also there could be a problem if your dogs penis stays visible for a longer than normal amount of
It is also very important to check for any abnormal lumps or bumps in these areas and the nipple
areas of female dogs.
The more you preform the daily check the quicker you will become at it. You might even notice
more bonding time with your dog while performing it. Remember that if you find anything out of the norm to take your
dog for a vet check ASAP.