Happy golden retriever licking its owner's face.

One of the things we love the most about our clients is the extreme love they have for their furry family members. As a dog owner, it can be hard to tell if your dog is feeling his best both physically and emotionally without the help of verbal communication. Your friends at Hampton Veterinary Hospital have compiled this list of signs of a healthy dog to help you determine whether or not it’s time for a veterinary visit:

Minty Fresh Breath

It might seem weird to a new dog owner but fresh breath is actually a great indicator of overall health. Halitosis is often a sign of an infection in the teeth or gums. Oral health can drastically affect a dog’s overall health–infections that start in the mouth can travel to vital organs. If your dog has fresh-smelling breath, this is a really good sign that there are no oral health issues.

Beautiful Coat

The skin and coat are also great indicators of overall health. If your dog has a shiny, smooth coat, chances are she is feeling well. Healthy dogs have plenty of natural oils that make their coats look shiny. They also shed a healthy amount. If you start to notice changes in your pup’s physical appearance, it could be signs of an unhealthy dog. Schedule a wellness visit to make sure everything looks good.

Consistent Eating Habits

Dogs often show their emotions by changing their eating habits. Have you noticed that your pup won’t touch his food when you have guests over for dinner? If your dog is consistently eating his food the way he always does, this is a good sign! Changes to eating habits are often the first clue that something is amiss with your canine’s health or overall affect. Talk to your veterinarian if you have concerns about your pet’s eating habits. 

Regular Bathroom Behavior

Another important dog behavior that can clue you in if something is off is how and when they urinate and defecate. Typically once a dog is potty trained, they will have similar bathroom habits–especially if they are on a pretty regular feeding schedule. If you notice a change in the frequency or consistency of urine or feces, it might be time to call the vet. 

Alert and Engaged Attitude

Does your pup run around doing dog zoomies every day before dinner? Or does she get so excited before a walk that she wiggles her entire backside? Dog body language and behavior is a good indicator of a happy, healthy pupper. Significant changes in attitude or behavior might be a sign that there’s a health issue at play. 

Whether you think your dog isn’t feeling well or it’s just time for your annual checkup, Hampton Veterinary Hospital is here for you. We love our pet patients and their families and can’t wait to see you again. Call (603) 926-7978 to learn more.