How to tell if your pet is healthy

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(Welcome to the weekly pet column of Pet Connection Programs Inc. of Marilla, N.Y. A new article is posted each week, so be sure to check back on a regular basis!)

Do you know just how healthy your dog is? According to a recent study of 1,023 dog owners, 90 percent are interested in learning more about their dog’s health but need a little help.

Here are the top seven indicators for determining your dog’s health:

Dental condition. Pay close attention to the color and amount of tartar on their teeth. You always want to strive for pearly white teeth.

Breath smell. While your dog’s breath may never smell minty fresh, it shouldn’t be unbearable, either. It’s important to note that bad breath is sometimes tied to the food they eat, so it’s always best to double-check with your veterinarian.

Bowel movements. The quality of your dog’s stool is a significant indicator of their overall health. So, next time you bend down to scoop that poop, pay close attention; the stool should be log-shaped and hold form when picked up.

Coat quality. Regardless of the season or the dog’s age, their coat should always be silky and shiny.

Skin condition. Like humans, dogs’ skin should be clear of blemishes, not flaky or dry.

Energy level. A healthy dog will be vibrant and full of energy. The amount of energy will vary depending on your dog’s age and breed.

Appetite. How excited is he to eat? A healthy dog is eager to eat and doesn’t shy away from food.

Remember that high-quality food like Purina One and regular veterinarian visits can help in maintaining your dog’s health. You can rate your dog’s health online at
— News Canada

(For more information on pets and animal adoption, please visit Or, visit their Facebook page at Located in Marilla, N.Y., Pet Connection Programs Inc. is a nonprofit maternity and special care shelter founded in 1984.)

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