Examining a puppy - How to evaluate a Puppy

A healthy puppy will not be resistant to being carried. When lifting the puppy he should feel heavier than what he actually looks. Check to see how the puppy reacts to being lifted up; if he stays calm it could mean that this puppy will possibly grow into a calm and serene adult. Keep an eye on him when he is in his bed and this way you will see what his temperament is like.

  • Lift the puppy's ears and check to observe if the insides are pink. There should not be a bad odor and there should not be any scabs or discharge. If the dog has discharge it could mean that the dog has a bacterial infection. Make sure also that the ears of the dog hang at the same length.
  • While holding the dog's head check that his eyes are clear, shinny, and that they have no discharge. If you notice that there is some gunk around the eyes or the dog's facial hair, it could mean that he has a problem with discharge. The eyes of a puppy should have good pigmentation and should not show any signs of redness or swelling. If you notice that the dog is rubbing his eyes a lot, it could mean this could be a sign of an infection or irritation.
  • Make sure to examine the gums of the dog. Do this by gently lifting his lips. The gums should be a pinkish color, although there are some breeds that have black gums due to pigmentation. Also verify that the gums do not smell. The teeth should all be aligned with the gums and make sure that they are not chipped.
  • The coat of the puppy should be shinny. Verify that the skin isn't greasy, or flaky. The hair on the dog should be on firmly. You can see this by pulling a little at the hair and seeing if it falls out easily. (Of course the exception to this would be if the dog during his shedding time). Make sure that the dog does not have any external parasites or abnormalities in his skin by running your hand in the opposite direction of the hair. In the case of dogs with a lot of hair you can use a comb to verify this.
  • Check the dog's anal region and make sure that it is clean and dry. There should not be any indication of inflammation, diarrhea, dry feces or swelling in the anal area. If the dog drags his behind on the floor, it could mean that he has an irritation; another indication of this is if he licks that area too much, it could also mean that there is an obstruction in his anal glands.

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