8 Differences Between Healthy and Unhealthy Dogs

Signs of a healthy dog goes beyond a wet nose

How can you tell you have a healthy dog, or if they are sick? Dogs can’t verbally express that they aren’t feeling well. Use this list to better understand your dog’s health and how to improve it!

1. How much does your dog weigh?

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Just as you regularly check your weight, you should keep tabs on how much your dog weighs, too. Keeping your dog’s weight under control promotes good health and keeps them on track as they grow and age.

TIP: An easy way to tell if your dog is underweight or overweight is to use your hands to feel their ribs. If your dog is overweight, it will be hard to feel the bones underneath its fur and flesh. If your dog is underweight, its bones might feel sharp and hard to the touch.

Always consult with a veterinarian before changing their diet or exercise routine.

2. Mind their business

What’s your dog’s poo telling you? When walking your dog, pay attention to the color of their urine and stool. Be cautious of any traces amounts of or unusual discoloration.

3. Mom nose best

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One of the most common pieces of advice we hear about dogs is to pay attention to the wetness of their nose. As a pet parent, you know your dog best and understand the wet and dry patterns of your dog’s nose.

That being said, a warm, dry nose can often indicate dehydration, but it’s not always a fail-safe indicator. Instead, watch for nasal discharge and contact your vet if you see anything out of the ordinary.

4. What color are your dog’s ears?

dog with a chew toy

Healthy dogs have ears that are light pink and clean inside. Unhealthy ears are easy to spot as they tend to have the following characteristics:

  • A large presence of wax or crust
  • Foul smell
  • Inflammation
  • Mites
  • Swelling
  • Discharge
  • A constant urge to scratch

5. Let’s take a look at those pearly whites

my dogs gums are bleeding
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Getting a dental exam from your vet is one of the simplest routine check-ups you can give to your pup. They will examine your dog’s mouth to make sure their gums are pink, their teeth are in strong condition, and that they show no signs of potentially cancerous bumps.

6. Does your dog have a fever?

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The normal body temperature for a dog ranges between 101 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Much like humans, dogs’ temperatures can rise and fall for various reasons. Keeping an eye on their energy levels and the warmth of their ears are good indicators as to whether or not your pup should have his temperature taken (and yes, the thermometer goes in THAT end).

7. Coat care

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I’ve been jealous of my dog’s coat on more than one occasion. Turns out, that silky shine is more than just an indicator of great hair, it’s also a sign that your dog has good skin, especially if it is free from the presence of:

8. Eyes are everything

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“Your doggy’s eyes are windows to its health and happiness” – Dogs and Dog Advice.

Shiny eyes are strong signs of a healthy dog just as swollen, inflamed, and/or yellowish signs are warnings that something might be wrong. Make sure they are never over-itching their eyes and have no suspicious discharge — that could mean they might have an infection.

Do you have any dog health tips that you’d like to share? Leave them in our comment section below!