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Top 10 Signs of a Happy, Healthy Dog

Maggie Marton | May 15, 2018

As a dog mama who adores her pup, you want to ensure he’s happy and healthy! You take care of him by feeding him wholesome food, taking him for regular checkups, and spoiling him to pieces. But, how do you know that your dog is happy and healthy?

Here are the top 10 signs of a happy, healthy dog--see how your pup stacks up!

Excited:

Your pup is excited to see you! A dog who greets you joyfully when you get home from work (or even just a 30-second trip to the mailbox), is a dog who’s happy to be yours.

Calm:

When you’re spending a day around the house, your dog can settle and feel calm rather than being amped up or anxious.

Playful:

Whether it’s a run around the block or chasing a ball in the backyard, a dog who plays is a happy dog. And that goes for all ages and stages! Even dogs who aren’t super into toys or tug, or dogs in their golden years, still have their version of play--an extra wag, a friendly woof, and so on. Whatever counts as play for your pup, wanting to romp is a sign of a happy dog.

GI Consistency:

A dog who eats and drinks normally with a robust appetite, and then “potties” normally and appropriately (i.e. not in the living room), is a healthy pup. If your pup struggles with appetite, or appropriate or consistent elimination, it might indicate an underlying health issue that’s worth checking in with your vet. 

Shiny:

A bright, shiny coat indicates more than just healthy hair--it’s a key indicator of overall health.

Fresh breath:

We know the jokes about dog breath, but a healthy pup won’t have an offensive odor when he licks your chin. If you smell a stank, schedule an appointment with your vet. 

A waistline:

In order to be happy, your pup needs to be at a healthy weight. If you don’t see a tucked waistline, consult with your vet on how many lbs your pup might need to lose. (He may look at you with those sad puppy-dog eyes while dieting, but he’ll thank you in the long run… and, actually, live longer, too!)

Clear eyes:

Gaze into your pup’s baby blues (or browns or blacks or goldens). Do they look sharp and clear? Great! Hazy or clouded? Unfocused? Give the vet a ring to see what might be affecting his ocular health. 

Behaved:

Most of the time. Most dogs get creative now and then, but a dog who’s consistently destructive, barks excessively, or has other nervous behavior is a dog who doesn’t feel happy. Consider a behavior consult if your dog isn’t consistent in his good behavior (most of the time). 

Connected:

You and your pup are on the same page. He gets you. You get him. It’s hard to quantify, but you know it’s there. A bonded dog is a happy, healthy dog! 

How many did your dog check off the list? Don’t worry if you didn’t get ‘em all! Each of the 10 points can be improved upon with a little professional help, time, love and dedication - and that work together will solidify your bond!