Signs Of Health And Sickness In Your Dog

Signs Of Health And Sickness In Your Dog:

Summary Icon

Chasing is a natural instinct for a dog, but it is not appropriate behavior in your home when directed toward your cat. The following guidelines can help you deal with this behavior through management (preventing the problem) and training (motivating the dog to change his behavior). Management means arranging the environment to prevent the behavior.

Signs Of Health And Sickness In Your Dog
Signs Of Health And Sickness In Your Dog
By Sherry Woodard

Your with you in words, but he can give you signs to indicate whether he is healthy or sick. Here are some signs of a healthy dog:

  • Skin is smooth and supple, and free of scabs, growths and rashes.
  • Coat is glossy, without dandruff or any areas of baldness, and with no signs of parasites.
  • Eyes are bright, not watering, and free of discharge.
  • Ears on the inside should be light pink (though dark-skinned dogs may have black pigment), clean or with just a trace of wax, not swollen, and free of discharge.
  • Nose should be moist — not necessarily wet, but not dry or cracked.
  • Temperature should be 100 to 102.5 degrees (101.5 is the average).
  • Gums are normally pink, but they can have black or gray pigment.
  • Stools should be firm and free of parasites.

One of your responsibilities as a dog person is to bring her to a veterinarian if you think she may be ill. Here are some signs that your dog could be sick:

  • A significant change in behavior (such as increased irritability)
  • Perceived pain or lethargy
  • Visible pain (such as limping or chewing on a joint)
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Persistent diarrhea
  • Persistent coughing
  • Lack of appetite
  • Excessive drinking
  • Excessive urination

If any of these symptoms last more than 24 hours, you should bring your dog to your veterinarian. You should also bring her in for routine checkups and dental care.

Sherry Woodard is the animal behavior consultant at Best Friends. She develops resources and provides consulting services nationally to help achieve Best Friends' No More Homeless Pets mission.

Best Friends Animal Society
About The Author:

Back in 1984, a scrappy group of friends from far corners of the globe settled in a remote area of Utah's high desert … and took the first steps to forever changing the future for pets in shelters. It's the story of Best Friends, but it's much more than the history of a spot on the map. This group of ordinary but passionate people believed that every pet has a story, too, each one worth saving, each life individual and important.

Check out stories from the Best Friend Animal Society.

Contributing since .

Keep Reading: