Like with us, our pets age and their health can deteriorate as they do so. But regardless of the age of your dog, their health is something that you need to keep a close eye on and that you need to play an important role on monitoring them and their health. Like with a baby or small child, they won’t be able to vocalise what is wrong with them. Which is why it is really important to bond and have a relationship with your dog. When they become like a member of the family, you are much more likely to notice if something is wrong with them, and if they are acting a little out of the ordinary. It has been shown in a study that a group of pet owners were surveyed and reported that their dog was acting healthy and well. But after being taken to see a vet as part of an annual study, it was found that ten percent of those dogs that the owners had reported were doing well, actually had underlying diseases. So paying close attention to them is of paramount importance.
Being aware of the signs to look out for, will not only help you to help your dog, but in some cases, could give you an indicator of what could be wrong with them. So here are some of the things you could find that your dog is doing when they aren’t feeling quite right. Then you can discover what could be wrong and what you can do to help them.
Drooling or Bad Breath
If you find that your dog is drooling (more than normal at least), then it can be an indication that something is wrong with them. Bad breath can also be an indicator. If it is these things, drooling or bad breath, then it could be something relating to their oral health. Gum disease can be pretty common in certain breeds of dog. But as it can spread throughout the body, it is a good idea to nip it in the bud as and when it comes up.
Itching, Shaking or Lumpy Skin
All dogs are going to be itching to a certain extent. It is part of their natural grooming regime. But if you notice that your pet dog is doing it more and more, along with shaking their head or they have lumps on their skin, then it could be a sign of something else. Things like fleas and ticks can quite easily attach to your dog, especially when they are out on their daily walks. But they can cause a lot of discomfort to your pet, and can sap their energy, as well as make them want to shake or itch them away. An at-home treatment, much like the Pet-Lock range could be enough to help solve the problem. But if there are ticks embedded in your dog’s skin, then it is a good idea to get help and advice from a vet, especially one that has experience of taking ticks out in the correct way.
If you notice a difference in your dog’s appetite, then it could be seasonal and not really mean anything at all. But if the appetite change has been affecting the dog’s weight, whether weight loss or weight gain, then it could be worth looking into. It could be something straightforward that your dog is pregnant, for example. But it could also mean something much more sinister. So if you have concerns over your dog’s appetite changing, then you should seek medical advice from your vet as soon as you can.
Along a similar line, your dog is likely to have some digestive upset from time to time. Sometimes, like us humans, it is just something small that we ate that didn’t sit well with us. But if the digestive upset is regular, and there are irregular bowel movements quite often, then it is worth having it looked at.
Change in Activity Level
If your dog has less of an interest in the things that they once did, then it can be another sign that their health isn’t quite right. Lack of energy could result from the foods that they are eating, as well as if their appetite has changed and they are hardly eating enough to give them energy. It could also be an indicator of an injury that you must have somehow missed. So again, seek medical advice from your vet, and don’t force your pet to play or go out if they are a little forlorn and want to stay lying down.
In order to deal with any issues that come up before they become a problem, then speaking to your vet regularly, and at least having an annual checkup, is important. We do the same for ourselves, right? So why should it be any different for your pet? When you see a vet regularly, you are taking preventative measures to help your dog, as it can monitor them along the way, and if they are showing signs of a particular condition or illness. Preventive care not only helps to identify and spot diseases in their early stages, when your dog is the most likely to respond to treatment, but it can also help you to avoid the high medical expenses that can come as being a dog owner. Plus, when preventative care isn’t put in place, it can risk to your dog’s health if an injury, illness or disease goes unnoticed or detected.
Seeing your vet regularly will also help to establish your dog’s normal ‘baseline’ results for things. Simply because your vet will check things like their urine, thyroid, blood count, and other chemical or electrolyte tests. But if you’ve not been for a while, the vet won’t be able to check if the change in results is due to an illness, or simply due to your dog getting older. So having the baseline comparison is an important part of the diagnosis, and then the treatment.