You care about your pets. That’s why you take them for walks, why you stop on the way back from work to buy a new toy or treat and why you observe their behavior, trying to figure out what makes them happy. That’s also why you worry when your pet doesn’t seem to be feeling well.
A sick pet can’t tell you what’s wrong. Your pet could be lethargic because of a thorn in its paw, or it could be something more serious. While a trip to the veterinarian is the best way to deal with a seriously ill pet, you can also treat minor problems at home and save yourself the expense of a medical bill. You can also take steps to ensure your pet leads a healthy lifestyle, minimizing the risk of illness.
Some people can’t resist slipping a few table scraps to their dog or cat, but certain human foods can be toxic for pets. As a general rule, you’re better off feeding your dog or cat food meant for animals. But if your pet spends time outdoors, it’s hard to know what they may be eating when you’re not watching.
Cats occasionally may seem to be quite ill when they’re attempting to cough-up a hairball. A diet that’s high in fiber can prevent this condition in the first place, but you can also buy lubricant-based remedies at the pet store to minimize your cat’s discomfort.
As much as we wonder about physical ailments that affect our pets, we also wonder if pets worry or feel anxious. Dogs may suffer from separation anxiety when you leave for the day, and they sometimes express that behavior by tearing up your belongings. Dogs with this type of anxiety may feel more secure in a smaller space, like a bathroom. And if your dog hates thunderstorms, that could just be because of static electricity, which you can alleviate by rubbing a dryer sheet on your pet’s fur.
Pets, just like people, sometimes suffer from respiratory allergies. If you notice your pet seems itchy or has a runny nose at certain times of year, have your pet evaluated for allergies. Even something as simple as poor indoor air quality could cause allergic symptoms in pets. So change furnace filters often, to ensure a healthy indoor environment.
Cuts and scrapes
Active cats and dogs are going to experience cuts and scrapes. Make sure these superficial wounds are clean; you can use a small amount of Neosporin to speed-up the healing process. Look for any changes that indicate the wound is infected and requires veterinary care.
The key to catching serious illness in your pets is to be aware of changes in their behavior. Sometimes, a pet may feel run-down for a day and fine the next, but prolonged unusual or different behaviors may be cause for concern. Trust your instincts, and never hesitate to take your pet to the veterinarian for a professional evaluation.