No one wants to choose a dog only to find that he or she is in poor health. Unless you are up for the challenge of rescuing an ailing animal you will want to make sure that the puppy or grown dog that you buy is a healthy one. There are several things you can observe to tell whether a dog is in good health. As well there are several questions you can ask to determine whether a dog is in good health. Here are some good things to keep in mind when choosing a dog and how to spot a healthy dog.
Before you run off to a breeder or pet store to get a “quality” dog, it is good to know that many animal shelters have their animals seen by a vet to determine if the animal has major health problems. So when getting a pet do not rule out using a shelter. For minor problems shelters are often able to work with you in getting the dog back to 100% health before you adopt the pup. This is not typical of pet stores but some breeders may be willing to work with you if a dog has something simple like a skin irritation or ear infection. Regardless of where you go ask to look over the records for the dog you are considering to determine the vaccinations the dog has received, any tests that have been done, any medications the dog has been on and any procedures that have been done, such as treatments for fleas or worms. Inquire to the breeder, pet store attendant or shelter whether they feel that there is any procedure that they would recommend the dog should have. Evaluate this along with the records to determine how much more you will need to spend to get the dog all he or she needs. In addition to the dog’s medical history, which is not always readily available, you can observe a number of signs for both good and poor health in a dog.
A healthy dog will have bright eyes without any thick discharge, tight eyelids that do not droop around the eyes, a clean wet nose, a plaque-free smile, clean ears and backside and a healthy looking coat. Note that if the breed of dog you are observing has a natural droopy face, such as a bloodhound, that the eyelids may be droopy for this reason alone and it is not necessarily a health concern. An ailing dog or at the very least a dog that is in poor health will potentially have patches of thin hair or no hair at all, visible ticks, inflamed wounds caused by too much scratching, an inflamed or even infected backside or bumps caused by cysts. If the dog scratches profusely this could be a sign of fleas or mites. Also, if you are able to observe the dog’s feces you may discover unsettling things, such as excessive loose stool, stool with blood or even worms. If you are rescuing a dog and are not worried about him or her being in perfect health ask the shelter what needs to be done to get the dog’s health up and if they are unsure take your new dog to the vet as soon as possible. From here work with your vet to get your dog back a quality life with good health.
Regardless of how you feel about getting a rescue dog or not, you will be glad to have a healthy dog even if this takes some time to achieve. Rescuing a dog is an excellent act and can be a very rewarding experience. However, if you are not up for the challenge or do not have the financial means to do so, you will want to make sure that the dog you choose is a healthy one. Following the advice listed above you will have a great chance of finding a dog in good health that you can care for and keep in good health.