Woof! 7 Signs Your Dog Is Happy and Healthy

Kaitlin Vogel
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With over 43 million dog owners in the US alone, it’s clear dogs bring a lot of joy to our lives. We love them wholeheartedly and look at them as part of the family.

As most canine parents would agree a happy dog is a healthy dog. However, when it comes to our dog’s health, it can be hard to tell when something is wrong. Since the signs aren’t always obvious, it’s important to know what to look for.

We all want our furry babies to be as healthy as possible, which means being mindful of their physical, mental and emotional needs.

Check out These 7 Qualities All Happy, Healthy Dogs Have:


1. Shiny Coat and Clear Skin

Healthy dogs produce oils in the skin that give their coats a natural shine. If you notice your dog is chewing or scratching frequently, it could be an indication of skin irritation, allergies, or fleas.

Petting and grooming your dog regularly is not only a chance to bond, but a chance to do a skin check. Be on the lookout for any lumps, scabs, redness or flaky skin, all of which are warning signs.

2. Fresh Breath

Like humans, oral health is an indicator of overall health in dogs. If your dog has bad breath (a yuck level of 8 or more), it’s worth looking into.

T. J. Dunn, Jr., Doctor of Veterinary Medicine suggests this could be because of a dog’s naturally warm, moist mouth which creates a breeding ground for bacteria. “Most are normal and natural, but once plaque and calculus (tartar) form on the teeth the normal microbial flora gets out of balance.”

Also, take note of the gum color. Pink gums are healthy. If you start to notice a darker, redder color that’s a sign something could be wrong.

3. Normal Weight

Obesity can lead to a variety of health problems. While a healthy weight for each breed varies, your dog should be within a certain range. Here is a guide.

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In terms of ensuring high standard of care for your dog, the American Animal Hospital Association lists these five vital assessments – nutrition being one of the most important assessments.

If your dog could afford to lose a few pounds, try taking your pooch to the dog park, on regular walks – or you may want to try doga – yoga for you and your dog!

4. Clear Eyes

The whites of dog’s eyes should be bright and clear, and the pink lining in the eyelids should not be swollen. A minimal amount of mucus is normal, but if you see that it’s yellow or green it could be an indication of an infection.

There are a variety of health conditions that could be the cause of eye problems in dogs. This includes, but is not limited to eye inflammation, dry eye syndrome, red eye, and pink eye.

5. Clean Ears

The inside of your dog’s ears should be light pink and odor-free. If you see any redness or a large buildup of wax, that could be an indication of an underlying health problem. It’s important to note long-hair breeds need additional care to keep the ears dry and clean.

Check out this informative video on dog ear care from the American Veterinary Medical Association.

6. Consistent Energy Level

While every breed is different when it comes to energy level (can’t compare a terrier to a Saint Bernard), you know what “normal” is for your dog. If you notice your dog is acting lethargic and not being as active, it could be a cause for concern.

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Ranging from dehydration to low blood sugar, it could be a number of reasons – which is why visiting your vet is the best choice.

If you see your dog panting or whining more often than normal, it could be a sign of anxiety.

7. Normal Urine and Regular Bowel Movements

Last but not least, take note of the color of your dog’s urine, an extremely important signal of your dog’s current health. In fact, your veterinarian will most likely evaluate your pet’s urine to help determine if they’re sick.

In fact, each color means something different, so be sure to follow this guide on urine color.

Keep Your Pup Happy with These Healthy Dog Tips!

Along with following this guide above, it’s important to bring your dog to the vet for checkups to ensure they have a clean bill of health. The benefit of routine exams is early detection and prevention of disease.

For most of us, our pets are part of the family. So, let’s do everything we can to help them live long, healthy lives!

All included information is not intended to treat or diagnose your pet. The views expressed are those of the author and should be attributed solely to the author. For medical questions about your pet, please consult your veterinarian.

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Kaitlin Vogel

Kaitlin has worked as a professional writer and editor in New York City for over seven years. Beyond her professional experience in journalism and psychology, it is her keen interest in personal development that has driven every one of her career decisions thus far. She's committed to creating content that matters.


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