As pet parents, we all want our pets to have a healthy lifestyle, but it can be difficult to know whether or not our pet is healthy. With the help of our pet experts, we’ve put together this list of the top five signs of a healthy pet.
1. IDEAL BODY CONDITION
The best way to gauge proper body condition is to feel your pet’s body. Ideally, you cannot see the ribs and spine, but they are easily felt when you run your hands over your pet. Your pet will also have a visible waist. The feeding guide on the pack is there to help, but remember it is a guide only, and you may need to increase or decrease their food accordingly.
2. GOOD LOOKING STOOLS
Stools can provide a lot of information about the health of your pet and the quality of food given. Ideally, stools should be small, firm-looking, but soft and moist if you picked it up. This tells you the essential nutrients have been effectively absorbed by your pet’s body. Abnormal stools are wet and sloppy or dry and crumbly. While stools can range in colour depending on what was eaten, it should be a shade of brown.
3. PHYSICAL CONDITION
A healthy dog or cat will have:
- A shiny and lustrous coat
- Bright and clear eyes
- Intact, healthy and non-irritated skin
- Adequate energy for their age and activity level, and overall good temperament.
Seek help from your veterinarian if you observe:
- Dull and patchy coat
- Eyes that are red, sore or have a visible discharge
- Irritated skin, visible flaking, redness, or itchiness
- Lethargic, aggravated behaviour, or visibly upset due over a digestive issue
Cats have specific behaviours they will exhibit when they are happy and healthy:
- Grooming: healthy cats will keep themselves well-groomed and will also groom other pets and their owners.
- Tails Up: when a cat holds her tail high and twitches the end of their tail, it is a sign they are happy and confident with those around them.
- Ears Forward: happy and healthy cats will face their ears forward rather than flat against their head.
- Playtime: A cat who engages in a lot of play is a happy and healthy cat, and it shows they are following their natural instincts to hunt.
Dogs will also show specific behaviours when they are happy and healthy:
- Rapidly wagging tail: when a dog wags its tail rapidly, it’s a great sign they are happy
- Good appetite: a sudden drop in appetite could be a sign that your dog is ill or unhappy.
- Good behaviour: happy and healthy dogs are usually well behaved. Destructive behaviour can be a sign of boredom or anxiety.
- Floppy ears: happy and healthy dogs ears will fall naturally and rest against the sides of their head.
5. ALERT & ENGAGED
If your pet is alert, engaged and social, it’s a wonderful sign of their good health. Pets who want to spend time with their family, who watching and observe with interest and who are eager for affection, are typically healthy pets who don’t have a major health issue. If your pet suddenly starts spending time alone, is disengaged or sleeping more, it could be a sign of a health issue. You know your pet best, so you’re the best person to be watching out for any signs or symptoms of poor health they may start to exhibit.
Remember to seek help from your veterinarian if you are at all concerned about your pet’s health or wellbeing.