Signs of a Healthy Dog
A dog in peak condition is a glorious sight – alert, happy and ready to tackle each day with a vigour that spreads to its human compatriots. But how can we be sure our companions are looking and feeling their best? Says Fiona Park.
We all want our canine friends to be happy and healthy. But the sedentary lifestyle of modern living isn’t all good for man or beast, so we need take a proactive route to ensure our pets enjoy optimum health.
Many of the dog breeds we welcome into our families were raised to work, whether it was for hunting, guarding, herding or otherwise. The lifestyle shift to house or lap dog means that owners may have to make a more conscious effort to maintain their pets’ physical condition.
The difficulty in judging whether our dogs are in peak condition is that there is no one ideal look for all dogs – this varies greatly between breeds. If you have a purebred, a quick internet search for a breed standard will give you a much better idea of how it should look, but for the most accurate information, talk to your vet or your pup’s breeder.
In general, healthy dogs should have clear, bright eyes, skin free of scabs, growths and rashes, glossy coats and moist noses. They shouldn’t smell too strongly and their stool should be regular and firm. Behaviour-wise, they should be vibrant and playful, but also able to settle down at night.
Appropriate diet and exercise are the building blocks of a healthy, happy dog, and it’s essential to get the balance right.