Dogs are almost always happy to see you, go on a walk and chase a ball around the yard for hours at a time. However, a happy dog doesn't always mean a healthy dog. While personality and energy are always great indicators, here's how to tell if your dog is in great shape:
A healthy dog has fresh breath. If your pup's breath smells rotten, it means they may suffer from tooth decay or gum disease. Bacteria under the gums can spread to other vital systems, and tooth decay, beyond causing discomfort, may indicate cancer. Regularly brush your dog's teeth and consider a professional cleaning.
Lean Body Mass
As is the case with humans, additional weight puts pressure on the joints, increasing the chance of joint disease later on in life. Dogs can also develop similar health problems as humans, including heart disease, diabetes and cancer due to obesity. To maintain a lean body mass make sure your pet receives plenty of exercise and quality food. Dogs should look lean, but not skeletal.
A shiny coat means your pet is naturally producing oils required to maintain their coat. If your dog's fur is coarse, dull and crunchy, it may mean there is a lack of necessary vitamins and minerals in their food.
Regular Bowel Movements
First, feed your pet at the same time during the day. This helps establish a bathroom schedule. Your dog should have regular bowel movements. If this is not the case or you notice a sudden change with no associated change in diet, there may be a serious problem developing.