Once you’ve had your dog for a while, you will understand more about their normal behaviours, movements, and body. This makes it easier to spot when there’s a problem. This can make all the difference between life and death or at least the difference between an affordable vet bill and an expensive one, as you will be able to deal with issues as they arise, not when it’s too late.
Do you enjoy cuddling with your cockapoo? There are lots of quick and simple checks you can perform to make sure your dog is healthy while enjoying a snuggle. This is great because your dog will be none the wiser and will just appreciate the attention and affection.
Have a Look At Their Gums and Teeth
Do your dog’s gums look very pink and healthy? If yes, then that’s great, as it means your dog is fully hydrated. While inspecting your dog’s teeth, look for any blackened areas, as this is a sign that they need to be cleaned. Ideally, dogs, including cockapoos, should have their teeth cleaned every year after they reach 5 to 7 years of age.
Listen to Their Breathing
Listen to your cockapoo’s breathing and make sure it is not unusually slow or fast. Obviously, if your dog has just been playing or out for a run, they are likely to be breathing more erratically than usual.
Feel for Common Points of Pain
Dogs love all forms of affection, don’t they? Does yours love a good massage? You could use that as an opportunity to inspect areas where your dog may be experiencing pain. Focus on their neck, hips, legs and back particularly. When you touch these areas if your dog makes sudden movements, growls, or winces, you should speak to your vet. When the pain is so severe, you may find they don’t want you touching them at all.
Inspect Them for Signs of Parasites
Take the opportunity while you brush or pet your dog to take a close look at their fur for any signs of parasites like ticks or fleas. Although they are quite small, you will be able to see them when you brush or stroke your dog’s fur. These little insects also cause irritation and itchiness. If your furry friend spends a lot of time scratching, you should have a close look and see if these critters are the culprits.
Look Inside Your Dog’s Ears
Dogs can be a bit funny about you touching and looking inside their ears. If your dog is likely to get annoyed at you doing this, take the subtle approach and while cuddling with your dog, give their ears a massage and look inside them. They should have a nice pink colour. If you find there are black or dark areas, your dog may have developed an infection in its inner ear. The best solution would be to speak to your vet.
Feel for Bumps and Lumps
Last but not least, as you are already snuggled up and stroking them a lot, you should take the opportunity to pay close attention to any bumps or lumps you come across. It’s important to be as thorough as you can because there may be growths that are too small to see that you can feel, especially in their crevices.
If you regularly use the relaxed atmosphere to give your dog these simple health checks you will be better able to detect when there’s a problem. When combined with close monitoring of their energy levels and other behaviours, you can have a fuller picture of your dog’s overall bill of health.