This blog is for informational purposes only. Please consult with a veterinarian if your pet is ill.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Choosing a Healthy Puppy

When choosing a new dog, you need to be very familiar with each breeds' temperaments, needs and potential health issues. But once you have chosen a breed that will suit your lifestyle and preferences, how do you tell if a particular animal is a healthy one?

This check list will help pinpoint any congenital defects as well as assess the possibility of chronic health problems to come.

Coat color
White animals can have extra problems like skin cancers, or deafness. Gray collies can often have a blood immune issues with increased susceptibility to infection.

The eyes should be normal size for the breed and clear of discharges.

Does the dog move normally or does it swing its hips from side to side as it walks? This could be a warning sign of hip dysplasia. Are the legs normal length and are the front and back legs in the right proportion relative to each other?

Nose pigmentation
Is the nose of normal pigmentation? Light skin noses can be subject to sunburn or skin cancer.

Avoid puppies that seem unusually aggressive, clinging, jealous, fearful, suspicious, hyperactive, noiy or unaware. These traits can be difficult to change and to live with.

Look for a puppy that responds well to you. Try this. Roll him on his back and hold him there. If he fights to get up, he may be difficult to train and be aggressive. A dog that keeps his tail low or acts submissive will be the most devoted and easiest to train.

Another way to see how compliant the puppy will be is to pick up a foot and watch how the dog reacts to that. Most will struggle a bit but not too much.

Puppies who stare back at you with intensity are going to be dominant and hard to handle. Those who avoid all eye contact will be shy and hard to establish a relationship with.

Attractive coat
The coat should smell and look healthy and clean. The skin should be pliant and firm with a healthy pink color.

Breathing sounds
The puppy should breathe quietly and easily. Any rasping sounds can be signs of problems to come.

Check inside the ears for signs of inflammation, or dark and waxy discharge. This could be a signal of chronic ear trouble.

Check the navel.
Feel around the navel for lumps. Lumps can signal a hernia.

Are the upper and lower jaws the same size? Do the teeth fit together well? Are the gums healthy?

For more information on dog breeds and choosing a puppy best suited for your family check out Puppies for sale


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