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Veterinarian give a puppy a check-up.

Give Your Dog
a Checkup

A new puppy needs a checkup with a veterinarian, or vet, soon after you get your dog. The doctor will make sure the puppy is healthy.

Then you should take your dog to the veterinarian at least one time each year for the shots he needs to stay healthy.


You get to be the Doctor!

It is important that you give your dog a checkup once a week. If you find a problem, you can tell your parents and they can call the veterinarian. Here is how you should give your dog a check-up.


1. Choose a day for your dog's checkup.

2. Sit on the floor with your dog under some good lighting or
on the ground outside.

3. Start by checking your dog's ears. Are they clean? Do they
have any sores or is there anything strange about them?

4. Now look into your dog's eyes. They should be bright and clean
with no discharge (stuff coming out). Some breeds of dogs have
normal discharge from their eyes. Make sure it looks very clear,
not thick or creamy color.

5. Check your dog's mouth, only if he is a very friendly dog.
His gums should be bright pink and wet (moist). His teeth should
be white and shiny. There shouldn't be any sores on his gums or
cheeks or tongue.

6. Now gently put your fingers on his neck especially in front
under his chin. It should feel clean and smooth, with no lumps or bumps.

 7. You can check your dog's skin and coat to make sure there are no burs caught in his hair. Separate the hair and check the skin to see that it looks healthy and doesn't have any sore spots.

Some dogs are easier to check than others!

 A dog with a lot of hair.

8. Now check your dogs feet - all four, one at a time. They should
be clean with no burs or stones between their toes. There should not
be any cuts or splits in his pads.

9. His nails should be short enough that they don't touch the ground.
If they are so long that they are curling under your dog's foot, tell
your parents that they need trimming.

10. Feel your dog's tail. It should not be painful to the dog. Just run
your hands over the tail, without pulling. Now lift up the tail and check
for anything strange that looks like it shouldn't be there. Your dog's
private parts should be clean.

11. Run your hand over your dog's whole body. There shouldn't be
any lumps or bumps. Don't forget the tummy, thighs, and chest.

Running Dog

Click here for a checkup sheet that you can use every week.
Try to give your dog a checkup every week.
He will love the attention!


Whenever your dog appears to be ill or is acting differently than usual, this is a good time to call the vet. You can help your parents by noticing unusual signs or behaviors.

If your dog is vomiting, has diarrhea, or doesn't want to eat for more than a day or two, you should ask your parents to call the vet. Hopefully, you will get to know your dog so well, that any unusual behavior will be a signal to you that your dog needs attention.

Collie with head down, feeling poorly.



The following indicate possible health problems and should be checked by a vet: vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, excessive sneezing, coughing, or abnormal discharge from eyes.

Fido's Fabulous Dog Facts

Healthy pets are happy.

A dog's body is very similar to ours.
Click on the
Click! to find out how!

Keeping an eye on your dog's health will help him to live a long, healthy life.


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How To Love Your Dog...A Kid's Guide to Dog Care
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