If you are a new Labrador owner, you might be wondering if your dog is healthy. The best way to know if they are healthy is by taking them to the vet, but some helpful signs can let you know if your Labrador is healthy between your veterinarian appointments. Here are the top 11 signs you should know.
Sign 1: Clean and Shiny Coat
Dogs regularly shed and produce natural oils. This makes their coat look shiny and clean.
Most dogs do not actually need to be bathed as much as you think if they are healthy. They only really need to take a bath when they are dirty. Bathing your dog too much can make their skin irritated and make their coat look dull.
If your Labrador starts scratching, chewing, or licking their skin, it could mean they have fleas, bug bites, skin allergies, or skin irritation. Be sure to bring your Labrador to a veterinarian to find out what is wrong.
Sign 2: Supple and Smooth Skin
Now that you have checked if your Labrador has a healthy coat, now you can check their skin.
Touch your dog’s skin – it should feel supple and smooth. There should be no rashes, growths, and scabs.
Sign 3: Fresh Breath and Clean Teeth
While your dog may not have amazingly fresh breath, a healthy Labrador should have rather clean-smelling breath. Their teeth should also be rather clean with no tartar buildup and have pink gums.
If your dog’s mouth smells rotten and/or has tartar buildup, you need to bring them to a veterinarian. Your Labrador could have gingivitis, tooth decay, etc.
Regular dental care for dogs can help them live longer and improve their health. You can brush their teeth regularly with dog toothpaste and a toothbrush and have their teeth checked by a vet several times a year.
Sign 4: Lean Weight
Your Labrador, particularly an adult Labrador, should have consistent and lean weight. Your dog’s waist should taper inward to their hips and their ribcage should not show (but you should be able to still feel it).
Obesity is a huge concern that many veterinarians have. Controlling their food portions and regular exercise should keep your Labrador at an ideal weight.
Sign 5: Clean Ears
Check your Labrador’s ears – you want to make sure that they are clean and do not have a smell. Healthy dog ears should have no musky or pungent smell, no discharge, and no waxy buildup.
However, a dog’s ears can get dirty and can get infected. You can easily avoid that by routinely cleaning their ears.
Sign 6: Engaged and Alert
Healthy Labradors love to watch, play, and spend time with their family members. They should be eager and jump at nearly every chance to spend time with you.
If you notice changes in behavior, it could be a sign that something is wrong. Symptoms of health issues in dogs are sleeping more, disengaged, spending more time alone, etc. It would be best to bring your Labrador to a veterinarian right away to find out if something is wrong.
Sign 7: Regular Bowel and Bladder Movements
Your dog should have a routine schedule when it comes to bladder and bowel movements. Irregularities can be a sign that something is wrong.
Healthy dog urine should be transparent yellow and their excrement should be free of greasy coating, chalky white discoloration, eggs, worms, mucus, blood, etc. If it looks different, then you need to consult a veterinarian right away.
Sign 8: A Moist Nose
Many people say that a wet nose is a sign of a healthy dog. However, it does not have to be extremely wet, just moist.
You just need to watch out for a cracked or dry nose.
Sign 9: Bright Eyes
Labradors have bright and loving eyes, and a sign of a healthy Labrador is having bright eyes. Your Labrador’s eyes should not have discharge and should not be watery.
Sign 10: Strong Nails
Take a look at your Labrador’s nails and feel them – they should feel strong and you should keep them trimmed. It is fine if they are white, black, or both.
What you need to look out for are brittle nails because it could be a sign that your dog has an underlying condition.
Sign 11: A Good Appetite
Most dogs can’t wait until it is mealtime, and that is a good sign that they are healthy. Most healthy dogs finish their meals in 10 minutes or even faster.
However, some conditions like diabetes or hyperthyroidism can make your dog hungrier than normal. Additionally, if your dog feels ill, they may not be as hungry. If your Labrador has a sudden change in their appetite, be sure to bring them to a veterinarian.
Since our furry friends cannot speak, we need to watch out for signs that signal they are healthy. Things like a shiny coat, healthy mouth, a good appetite, and more can let you know that your Labrador is happy and healthy.