Have you ever asked yourself, “how healthy is my pet”? It’s not a trick question.  But our dogs and cats can certainly be tricky when it comes to hiding their health problems from us. It’s not that our pets don’t trust us, but it’s an instinctual behavior to mask illnesses or injuries. Because in the wild it is survival of the fittest.

What can you do to assure your furbabies are healthy as well as happy?

Pay Attention

One of the best ways to determine whether your pet is healthy is by taking him to the veterinarian for an annual check-up. Between check-ups though, you are your pet’s first line of defense and the person who spends the most time with them. Pay attention to changes in mood, behavior or eating patterns. If something seems out of the ordinary, call your vet.

  1. Does your pet still love to take a walk? If your dog has always jumped around and been so excited to go for a walk once you grab the leash, but now he isn’t so thrilled, you should look for a reason why. Is he afraid of something? Does he appear to be sore or injured? Did something happen on your last walk that could have caused his reticence?
  2. Does your pet still have a good appetite? As pet parents we notice if our dog is eating the way she used to or if she’s being picky. Our dogs can have days when they just don’t have much of an appetite. A day or two of being a picky eater isn’t much to worry about. If it continues, call the vet.
  3. Is your dog in a bad mood? Just as humans get grumpy when they aren’t feeling well, the same can happen for our dogs. If your dog is being “snappy” or doesn’t want to play or growls at his fur-siblings, you need to look for a cause. It could be an underlying health issue or it could be a simmering, sudden feud within the pack.

Pet health, wellness and overall happiness!

You may not need to lose sleep if your dog is sleeping fewer hours or longer hours — if it happens for a few days. If it becomes a pattern that is out of the ordinary, call your veterinarian. If your dog suddenly doesn’t want to play, pay attention to when it happened and see if you recognize any reason for it.

We have to be advocates for our pets, especially as they age, as they can be afflicted with ailments and aches and pains. Pay attention to your pet. They rely on us to keep them safe, happy and healthy!

Robbi Hess, Woman In The Pet Industry Solopreneur Finalist and award-winning author, is multi-petual. When not caring for her pets or taking them on walks, she is a speaker, efficiency and effectiveness guru, content creator, social media manager and blogger. She writes at All Words MatterMy Divas Dish, and is the story editor and chief cat herder at Positively Woof/Crimeless Cat.