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We all want our dogs to be happy and healthy. And while some signs are universal–a wagging tail, for instance– others might not be so obvious. Here are thirteen subtle (and not-so-subtle) signs that your pup is in good spirits and health.
1- They’ve Got a Nice, Shiny Coat
One of the most visible signs of good health in dogs is a lustrous, shiny coat. If your dog’s coat looks dull or dry, it could signify they’re not getting the nutrients they need. Ensure you’re feeding them high-quality food and plenty of fresh water.
2- They’re at a Good Weight
Does your dog look like they’ve recently lost or gained a few pounds? While some weight fluctuations are regular, significant changes can indicate an underlying health issue. Consult your vet if you’re worried about your dog’s weight.
3- They Poop Regularly
A healthy dog will have regular, well-formed bowel movements–usually one to two per day. If your dog is straining to poop or their stool is watery, it could be a sign of diarrhea, which can quickly lead to dehydration. Dehydration is a severe medical emergency, so if your dog has diarrhea, please call your vet immediately.
4- They Pant in Moderation
Panting is perfectly normal for dogs–it helps them regulate their body temperature and cool down on hot days. However, if your dog is panting excessively, it could signify anxiety or overheat. If you think your dog is overheating, move them to a cool, shady spot and offer them water to drink. If they don’t improve quickly, call your vet right away.
5- Their Eyes are Bright and Clear
Bright eyes with no discharge or redness are a sign of good health in dogs. Schedule an appointment with your vet immediately if you notice any changes in your dog’s eyes–including cloudiness, redness, or excessive tearing.
6- Their Ears are Clean and Dry
Another great way to gauge your dog’s health is by peaking inside their ears (use caution when doing this–if your dog doesn’t like touching their ears, it’s best to leave this one to the professionals). Healthy ears should be clean and free of any discharge or redness. Give your vet a call if you see anything unusual going on.
7- They Have Plenty of Energy
A healthy dog will have lots of energy for playing fetch, going for walks, and generally being their adorable selves. If you notice that your dog is less active than usual or seems tired all the time, it could be a sign of an underlying health condition, and you should consult your veterinarian as soon as possible.
8- They’re Eating and Drinking Normally
A sudden decrease in appetite can be a sign of illness in dogs, so it’s essential to keep an eye on how much food and water they consume daily.
9- Their Gums are Pink and Moist
One way to check for dehydration in dogs is by pressing lightly on their gums–healthy gums will be pink and moist (think ‘blush’ pink).
10- Their Breath Smells Normal
If your dog’s breath smells different than usual–or particularly foul–it could indicate dental disease or another oral health problem.
11- They’re alert and responsive
Healthy dogs will be alert and responsive to their environment and human companions.
12- They Always Seem Happy
Of course, this one isn’t always easy to gauge–dogs can’t tell us how they’re feeling verbally (yet)–but happy dogs will typically have bright eyes, low-stress levels (as indicated by things like panting and tail wagging), and an overall relaxed demeanor.
13- They Love Getting Pets from You
Dogs who feel comfortable around their humans often enjoy being petted–particularly along the back or behind the ears.
These thirteen signs indicate that your pup is probably feeling pretty good! Of course, if you ever have any concerns about your dog’s health or happiness, please don’t hesitate to consult your veterinarian – they’re always happy to help out worried pet parents.