Keeping an eye out for early signs of any medical problems is one of the most important things that you can do for your dog. It could save you a lot of stress, money and time in the long run. Observing your pet’s habit, activity levels, positions and their body could help you in telling if there are any changes that require veterinary attention. Furthermore, it is essential to know that a disability like blindness, amputated limb or hearing loss does not really rule out being overall healthy.
10 Ways To Help You Monitor Your Pet’s Health:
1) Monitoring Eating Habits:
If your pet stops eating his food or drinking for more than 24 hours, it means that something is wrong and it needs to be taken to the vet. This is especially important if your pet is a healthy eater. As a pet parent you are well aware of your pet’s habits and know better if something is up.
Moreover, check your pet’s pulse and temperature if they seem down, lazy or lethargic.
2) Monitoring Toilet Habits:
Constipation, diarrhea, blood and mucus are the four main things you have to look out for in your pet’s stool. If you find that their urine looks bloody or dark, it calls for concern. You need to keep an eye on the regularity of your pet’s toilet habits and ensure a consistent appearance.
3) Body Check:
Perform a weekly body check of your pet. While grooming your dogs, run your hands over your furry friend and see that there are no lump, inflammation of cuts or signs of pain or discomfort.
Cats are usually cuddlers. A healthy cat’s head is always alert except for when it sleeps or interacts with other cats, they can’t carry their heads high. Check for any bumps or lumps on your cat’s head to see if it’s in a healthy state.
4) Observe Your Pet’s Walking:
While you are out on a walk with your dog, watch the way your dog moves, runs and walks. See how your cat moves around the house near stairs, perches etc. Check to see if they feel stiff or tired? Are they reluctant in climbing up the stairs or jumping out of the car seat? Excessive panting can also indicate signs that something is wrong. Any such signs should not be ignored. Monitoring your pet’s activity levels help a great deal in assessing its health.
5) Check Your Pet’s Weight:
Obesity results in a huge number of health problems in pets. Cats tend to overeat and obesity leads to various health issues. For dogs as well, keeping a well-balanced diet and maintaining it is necessary.
6) Check Your Pet’s Mouth:
Check your pet’s mouth for anything out of the ordinary. Your pet’s gums should be pink, redder/darker patches indicate an issue. See that there are no lumps, growth and ensure that all teeth are clear and none of them are loose. While checking the mouth do not forget to see the tongue for sores and cuts as well, unusual bad breath can be a sign of digestive problems.
Your Pet’s gum color is also something you should keep an eye on. The normal gum color and roof of mouth should be light pink. Very pale or bright pink gums, irritated along with other symptoms need to be examined by the vet. Keep in mind that as cats age, their previously pink mouth may develop some pigment spots.
7) Check Your Pet’s Eyes:
Your pet’s eyes should be bright and clear and the same size. Cat’s pupils might be narrow and wide that depends on the light reflecting on them. Check for any ingrown hair or eye lashes which might be cause of a problem. There should not be any signs of irritation or excessive discharge.
The eyes should not have any redness or yellow signs. In cats, you might see tiny blood vessels but if you see blood in the eye chamber, this is a veterinary emergency. If you pet is squinting or blinking an eye, that might be a sign of some injury or scratch. If the pink membrane is reddened, that is a sign of possible conjunctivitis. Furthermore, any indication that suggests that your pet is having vision problems, it should be consulted with a vet right away.
8) Check Your Pet’s Nose:
If you have a dog, its nose should be cool and moist. And you need to look out for any excessive discharge and sneezing. Furthermore note if your pet is having trouble in breathing or coughs frequently these result in respiration issues.
If you have a cat, check to see that it is free of any mucous and is not runny. Sometimes cats sneeze because of dust or some kind of allergy. Severe and continuous sneezing along with gagging might be a sign of some foreign body embedded in his nasal passage. This tends to be common issue with cats that are allowed to go outside. They may accidentally swallow or inhale a sharp blade of grass etc. Any such circumstances are a veterinary emergency.
9) Check Your Pet’s Feet:
Examine your pet’s paws for any grazes, growths or cuts. Long nails or claws can be cause of discomfort and should be trimmed with clipper or file. Be very careful while cutting your dog’s nails as this sometimes causes bleeding.
10) Check Your Pet’s Ears:
Finally, check your pet’s ears for any wax buildup, bad odor or swelling. Wax can be removed gently from dog and cat’s ears but they should never be poked with anything directly down the ears. Any swelling, bad odor, indication of sores, scabs or crusty appearance in your cat or dog’s ears should be taken to the vet. If your cat is shaking its head and pawing at his ears, these signs are a red flag and taken immediately to the vet.
Ensure that you follow these ten ways on routine basis and as frequently as possible. This will allow you to see and catch any troubling sign early on.