Signs of a Healthy Dog
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The cold wet nose in a dog has been commonly believed to be 'the' sign of good health. But in actuality one has to examine the hair, skin, eyes, ears, nose, fitness level, teeth, urine and feces, to declare a puppy or a dog in good health. A good nutritious diet, adequate exercise, regular grooming and offering the puppy a home full of love -  are what make for a health puppy.
Is Your Dog Healthy? Check out some of these obvious signs:

Beautiful Coat: A coat that is full, shiny and soft to touch or springy and full of bounce (for wire coated dogs) is the first sign of good health. In addition, there should be no thinning or lack of undercoat in double coated breeds.

Smooth Skin: Your dog's skin should be smooth without areas of redness, open sores, scales, scabs or growths, though normal skin pigment varies. According to the breed and colour of the dog some will have pink, black, brown or even spotted areas to the skin. More importantly, the dog should be free of fleas, ticks and other external parasites.

Sparkling Eyes:  Does your dog have a twinkle in his eye and a spring in his step? A healthy dog's eyes are shiny and bright and the area around the eyeball (conjunctiva) a healthy pink. Though some dogs like Poodles tend to have a watery discharge from their eyes, otherwise there should be no thick, green or yellow discharge from the eyes.

Clean Ears: A healthy dog's ears are clean with no dark or bloody discharge or matter in the canal with no foul odor redness, or swelling.

Gums: Depending on the breed, the gums should either be pink or pigmented with black. Paleness in the gums can be a sign of anemia. Red, inflamed gums are often a sign of gingivitis or other periodontal disease. A healthy dog should have no bleeding from the gums or foul breath.

Teeth: Healthy young dogs should have sparkling white teeth and the teeth should fit into the gum well. Older dogs would have a slight darkening to their teeth, but this darkening should not include any hard white, yellow, green or brown matter.

Cool Nose: A dog's nose is normally moist and cold to the touch. This moistness should be from clear, watery secretions not yellow, green or foul smelling discharge. In young dogs, coloured or foul smelling discharge is usually signs of canine distemper.

Body Temperature: The normal temperature of a dog is 101 degrees F when checked rectally with a thermometer. Excited dogs or those who have been exercising may run a slightly higher temperature but drastic increases of over 103 degrees or decreases registering as less than 100 degrees should be checked out.

Clear Urine: Urine should be clear and yellow. Dark brownish or reddish color to the urine usually means the presence of blood. A dog should also urinate in proportion to the amount of water taken in.

Firm Feaces: A dog's feces should be firm and brown. This colour could also be affected by the brand of dog food you use. There should be no worms, "grains of rice", red blood or black color in the stool.

Ideal Weight: A dog that appears healthy in every way may still be over or underweight. In a healthy dog, the ribs, back and hip bones should not show, but be able to be palpated or felt.

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