Happy and Healthy Dog
Tell Tail Signs

  • The wag says it all.

The first indication that you have a happy and healthy dog, is his tail wagging. We humans smile with our faces, our beloved companion dogs smile with their tails. A very submissive dog may give a wag tucked between his hind legs, but it is still wagging.

Sometimes their entire body sways, just for the joy of greeting you! Even our stump tailed friends, will get their hind quarters going.

If your dog does not greet you with his normal exuberance be sure to watch out for other indications that he may be ill. For example he may be off his food too, then a trip to the vet is recommended.

  • Not eating: big warning!

If your dog does not eat, it could mean he is not hungry.  A happy and healthy dog will not be overfed, so he should have an appetite when his feeding time arrives.  Ideally he should receive two meals, given at a similar time each morning and evening.  He may even remind you when feeding time has arrived!

If your dog normally eats well and suddenly won't eat, you need to get to your vet pretty quickly. Some dog health symptoms for illnesses such as tick bite fever come on very quickly.  Urgent Veterinary Treatment is essential in these cases.

On the other hand you may have a fussy eater.  Our small dog breeds are very easily spoilt, and as a result may be "picky" eaters.  In this case, you would not rush off to the vet.  Try to reduce his daily food allowance, until he eats readily when he is fed.  Fat can be fatal, so don't overfeed your dog.

  • His ears are his barometer

Ears that are up and alert indicate excitement, confidence and generally the signs of healthy and happy dogs.  Many small dog breeds are a bit more difficult to read, for example a dachshund whose ears and eyes are rather doleful. A dog that is feeling under the weather, will certainly show it in his downward ears and patently miserable appearance.

  • Dogs smile too

Some breeds such as Golden Retrievers are classic smilers. A dog showing the corners of his mouth, they may be drawn into an upward curve, with smile lines into his forehead. A study conducted by the University of Florida measured dogs' features in response to their human owners' smiles and concluded, that it is possible that dogs have picked up on human behavior and have learnt the art of smiling in return for a reward. A dog baring his teeth, is not smiling, and may be given you a warning to back off.

A happy and healthy dog is enthusiastic and energetic, with a good appetite for food and exercise.

  • Each breed is different

How can we ensure healthy and happy dogs? Besides food, all dogs need some stimulation in the form of exercise, chew toys, games and learning tricks.

  • Scent and Sight Hounds need to run and track.
  • Herding dogs crave the chase and love training. 
  • Gundogs love retrieving and swimming.
  • Terrier types enjoy digging and agility exercises.
  • Our beloved toy dog breeds, must have a daily walk and lots of lap time!

Whatever activity you choose for your dog, use your imagination for a happy and healthy dog in mind and in body.

  • Dogs can get depressed

Any pooch that is left to his own devices day after day, without human interaction or exercise will soon show symptoms of depression.  A new puppy or a baby in the home, often means he gets less attention than normal.  Signs of depression in dogs, is usually a lack of appetite or enthusiasm.

Long term depression in dogs is unusual, as we want the best for our beloved small dog breeds, we need to be in tune with their body language and be sensitive to their needs.

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