Healthy eyes are transparent, bright, and do not ooze. Any opacity, permanent change in pupil size, or redness should be checked as soon as possible by a veterinarian. Dogs have a third eyelid, a membrane that can sometimes be seen lining the surface of the eye. If the eye is healthy, it is very difficult for us to see this membrane, so if it is visible, it indicates that the dog is not well.
The inside of the ear canal should be clean and pink. Brown wax and bad odor can be a sign of infection or mite infestation. If a dog rubs the wall or scratches his ear repeatedly it could mean he has otitis.
The snout must under no circumstances ooze. The humidity and temperature of the nose can be influenced by the weather and the level of activity and health, so it is not necessary to always be cold and wet to consider it a sign of health. However, it is never a good sign if the nose is excessively hot or dry. A colour change or progressive depigmentation is not indicative of disease.
Dogs' teeth, like ours, deteriorate over time, but ideally they should always be clean and white. Sometimes dogs can break a tooth, so it is a good idea to check and clean their mouth regularly. This also prevents gum infections. The gums should be pink, soft and not bleed. On the other hand, although no dog can boast of fresh breath, it is also not normal that their breath can be perceived from a distance, something that would indicate some dental problem. We should also know that excessive drooling may reflect a problem.
Skin should be pink-coloured and free of flaking and dandruff, while some breeds may have pigmented areas of the skin, which is normal. The hair must be free of parasites.
Dog paws are usually very resistant but can also blister or suffer sores if the dog has walked or run excessively. Many breeds keep the thumb, which is called the spur and is located on the inside of the front paws. The spurs can break while the dog exercises and become infected. Another danger for paws is broken glass. We must avoid at all costs for our dog to step on them since they could hurt themselves. If possible, we should to pick up any glass that we find during the walk to prevent other dogs from being hurt. Paws should always be dry between pads and the fingers to avoid pododermatitis, therefore we must try to dry the paws well if we bathe our dog or gets wet on a stroll.
Bloating (stomach dilation) can be a sign of worm or digestive problems and should be seen by a vet. All dogs have four pairs of nipples that it is important to check regularly for possible breast tumours, something very common in non-sterilised female dogs.
It is located at the tail set and should be clean and not sore or swollen. If our dog rubs his bottom against the ground or licks his anal region insistently, he may have clogged anal glands or is trying to get rid of worms, in which case must be checked by the veterinarian.
If it is a male, the penile area should not have red or irritated areas. In the case of the female, the vulva must have a pinkish colour and must not ooze, the area of the folds must always be clean. If we notice that our dog insistently licks the genital area, we must take him to the vet.