It’s not for nothing that dogs are called man’s best friend. Dogs are loyal companions in exercise, play and rest, ever friendly, ever curious, ever loyal. To be the owner of a dog is to be very lucky, but it’s also a big responsibility. Your dog relies on you to provide it with a safe, comfortable home, with healthy food, exercise, attention and stimulation, and best care of your gog when they are sick. Your dog can’t communicate with you directly, so if you want to take good care of your dog, you need to do the research so you know the right decisions to take, and can recognise the warning signs when your dog is showing them to you.
Today we’re taking a look at how your informed attention helps you take the best care of your dog!
Recognising Health Issues
It’s important to be alert for signs of sickness in your dog. In many cases, the most serious health issues don’t have the most dramatic symptoms. For example, sickness and diarrhoea in dogs is often simply a side effect of switching them to a new food, or one of their own foraging expeditions during a walk. You can help them through a bout of sickness by offering them an easily digestible diet like boiled chicken with rice and plenty of fresh, clean water, and in most cases it will clear up in a matter or hours or days.
The signs you need to watch out for are changes from their normal behaviour: increased or decreased appetite, unexpected aggression, or being uncharacteristically withdrawn, unusual drowsiness, drinking more or less water than usual, and losing or gaining weight can all indicate there’s a problem it’s worth looking into – or asking a vet to look into. Limping, growling and aggression, and withdrawing from you can all be signs of pain or injury, for example. Excessive thirst – and urination, increased appetite but no weight gain, or even weight loss can, taken together, be a sign of canine diabetes.
If your dog starts behaving out of character, you’re worried and you can’t explain why, don’t delay. Make an appointment at the vet right away. If your dog is suffering from a minor health issue, but it’s not going away like you’d expect (vomiting that stops your dog holding down food for longer than a day, for example), make a vet’s appointment. Your dog deserves the best care, and that includes spotting health problems early getting them treated by experts.