Snout to Tail Wellness Assessment

By nakedbarra | May 22, 2013

Keeping your pet happy and healthy is the number one priority for pet owners. We buy the best toys, take them to the vet for check ups, and exercise with them; everything and anything we can do to help our furry friends. Since prevention is a key stage in your pets well being, our friends at healthypetsnh created this helpful “Snout to Tail Wellness Assessment”. This should be done 3-5 times a week to be the most effective, and isn’t just for those handicapped and special needs animals. If you find an abnormally on your pet, contact your Vet to discuss.


  1. Head: Snout– The nose should be cold and wet.  Not too wet with discharge and not so dry that it is cracked.  Muzzle should be free of bumps and abrasions. 
  2. Mouth, Gums & Teeth– Gums should be bubble gum pink.  Teeth should be white and without cracks, chips or missing teeth.  Breath should not stink.
  3. Eyes– Eyes should be clear with no discharge and they should track movement.  Both eyes should be symmetrical.  Are the whites, white, red or yellow?  Are the pupils pinpoint, dilated or unequal?
  4. Crown/Skull– Check for abrasions, bumps, masses, tenderness or sores.
  5. Ears– There should be no odor or discharge.  They should not be sensitive to the touch. They should be symmetrical.
  6. Neck & Spine– Is there any pain, discomfort or guarding along the spine?
  7. Chest & Ribs– You should be able to feel the ribs. Breathing should be easy and rhythmic.
  8. Front Legs & Paws– Check for range of motion.  Nails and dew claws should not be cracked, split or painful.  Check the pads for cracks or tears.  Check between the toes for foreign objects.
  9. Hind Legs & Paws– Use the same procedure as the front.
  10. Abdomen & Genitals– Abdomen should not be sensitive, painful, hard or rigid.  There should be no discharge from mammary glands or genitals.  Anal area should be free of hair, debris and feces.
  11. Tail, Skin & Coat– The tail should be free of deformities and pain and should have good movement.  Assess the skin and coat for quality, texture, color, temperature and excessive shedding.

Leave a Reply