How To Assess Your Dog’s Health In 5 Steps

How To Assess Your Dog’s Health In 5 Steps

How To Assess Your Dog’s Health In 5 Steps

Taking care of your dog can be challenging when you aren’t sure what they are feeling. Understanding their basic needs is one thing, but it can be hard to tell when they are experiencing any form of discomfort or pain. Knowing how you can assess your dog’s health can allow them to have a great quality of life, and ensure that they live long and healthy lives. 

Caring for your dog should be a priority, which is why the following steps should be used on a regular basis to protect your dog and ensure that they are doing well. For more information on signs of poor health, check out https://petdt.com/pale-gums-in-dogs/

Examine Their Head

Firstly, you should look closely at your dog’s head. This can be the easiest way to spot when something is not right, because of the observable differences in their physical appearance. Take a closer look at your dog’s teeth and gums. 

Signs that their health is compromised include visible tartar on the back teeth, a nasty smell, noticeable redness in their gums, exposed tooth roots, and any lumps in their gums or under their tongue. Other areas to look for include your dog’s ears. Any type of discharge can be a sign of an infection.

Any odor coming from their ears, excessive scratching, or swelling can also be indications that your dog’s health is impaired. Likewise, you should check their nose for any signs of soreness or discharge. It is also worth checking for scaliness and excessive dryness on their nose. 

When you are checking your dog’s eyes, look for any unusual discharge, squinting, or if the whites of their eyes are more pink or red than usual. These can be signs that their health is compromised in some way, and that you should contact your vet. 

Check For Dehydration

You can also check that your dog is hydrated enough by using the skin turgor test. This is done by stretching the skin on the back of your dog’s neck into a tent shape, and letting it go. If this skin goes back to its original position immediately, then it is a good sign that they are getting plenty of fluids. 

However, your dog could be dehydrated if the skin keeps the tent shape slightly. Similarly, it can take a little longer to return to its original shape if they are dehydrated. 

Skin And Nails

Another essential thing which should be considered while checking your dog’s health is their skin and nails. Take a closer look for any signs of discomfort, excessive biting, itching or licking across their skin. 

A good place to check your dog’s skin is on their paw pads. Take a close look for rashes or bug bites. These will need to be checked by a vet to determine the best course of action. 

Make sure that you are also checking your dog’s nails. This is essential in all dogs, especially breeds that are more likely to experience issues with their dew claw growth. Most dog’s nails will naturally wear down when they are walking on hard surfaces, but it could be worth taking them to a professional groomer to safely trim them. 

Check Their Fur

You should also check your dog’s fur. Their coat should appear healthy according to their breed. 

This can allow you to check for any signs of damage within their fur. Depending on their breed, it may also be necessary to take your dog to a groomer frequently in order to maintain their fur and manage shedding. 

Look At Their Movement

Finally, it is worth looking at your dog while they are moving. They could show excitement when you are playing with them, but start limping when they think no one is looking. This is common in older dogs or dogs that are suffering from joint pain. 

Consider how easy it is for your dog to get up from laying on the floor or in their bed. This can help you decide what is considered normal for your dog. Likewise, this can allow you to look out for any signs of discomfort or illness, especially within older dogs. 


Taking care of your dog is an essential part of ensuring that they live long and happy lives. Protect their health by understanding the basics in order to carry out your own health check. This can prevent you from wasting time over small concerns at the vet, and ensure that you are keeping on top of your dog’s health on the whole.