Checking your puppy’s health

You and your puppy need to make regular visits to the vet for worming and vaccinations. Your vet will also make regular checks of your puppy’s health, to make sure they’re in good condition and also to check for anything that might signal a problem.

However, it can also be useful for you to run your own puppy health check at home. That way, if you spot anything unusual, you can visit the vet as soon as possible. Keep your eye on your puppy’s health and overall mood. Use the charts below to help you.



Cool, clean, moist and free of discharge.

Consult your vet

Running with mucus or other discharges.

Your puppy’s nose should be clean and a little moist, without any discharge. If you spot any mucus, or any other kind of discharge, visit your vet.



Clear, bright.

Consult your vet

Red. Tear-stained. Discharging.

Your puppy’s eyes should be clear and bright, with no redness or excessive moisture. If you spot any discharge, consult your vet.



Pink, clean. Free from discharge and odor. Check weekly.

Consult your vet

Ear canal contains dark wax resembling dried coffee grounds. Ear canal hot, inflamed with pus or odor. Your puppy tries scratching their ears and shakes their head regularly.

Puppies’ ears should be clean, without any discharge or noticeable odor. You should take your puppy to see the vet if you see any dark wax, inflammation, pus, or anything else unusual. If they scratch their ears or shake their head a lot, there might be some discomfort. We recommend making this part of a weekly puppy health check.



Free from lumps, fleas, flea dirt or ticks. Pink, clean skin. Thick, shiny and silky.

Consult your vet

Redness of the skin, bald patches, greasy coat, lumps, fleas, flea dirt or ticks, or itchiness.

Keep a look out for lumps, fleas, ticks, and their dirt. Your puppy’s coat should be thick (depending on breed) and shiny, without bald patches of grease. If you see any of these, or if your puppy appears to have itchy skin, consult your vet.



Pink gums. Fresh breath. White teeth.

Consult your vet

Redness/swelling at tooth margins. Inflamed gums. Breath odor. Dirty teeth or presence of foreign objects.

A healthy mouth has pink gums, white teeth, and little breath odor. If you see swelling in the gums, redness, inflammation, dirty teeth – or you notice strong breath odor – then ask your vet for advice.

Dog sitting happily on lounge with owner
10 Tips For Keeping Your Pet Happy Indoors

Our pet behaviorists offer some tips on how to keep your pet happy and engaged when you’re stuck inside.

Puppy drinking out of water bowl
Water For Puppies

It is crucial to ensure that your puppy has access to a clean bowl filled with fresh water at all times.

Owner and puppy cuddling together
Choosing a Puppy

The first step is to track down a responsible breeder or animal shelter like the AWLA.