• Linda Healy

A healthy puppy

If you have decided that you have the time and patience for a puppy, you want to make sure you choose a pup that's going to be fit and healthy. While there's no way to guarantee that your new puppy will never fall ill. you can reduce the chances by checking for certain signs before you make your choice.

Skin: Pull apart his hair to check that his skin is smooth and free of parasites. Its colour will range from pink to black to spotted, depending on what type of dog he is. Check that there are no scabs, lumps or pimples.

Ears: His ears should be free of discharge, excessive wax and odour.

Eyes: His eyes should be bright, shiny and expressive, with little or no discharge, watering or redness. The eyelashes should not touch the eyeball.

Coat: His coat should be glossy and clean, without excessive oil or dandruff. It will feel shorter and thinner than the coat of an adult dog. There should be little or no shedding when stroked. His belly will usually be hairless.

Legs: Check that he moves freely when he walks and runs. He should put even weight on all four legs.

Nose: His nose will be moist and cool. It should not be running.

Mouth: Pull back his lips to see that his gums are either pink or pigmented with around 23 white teeth (depending on his age).

Anus: Make sure his anus is clean and dry, not red and irritated.

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