As a pet sitter or owner of a furry four legged pet these are your must have tips to know what checks to perform on a pet dog or cat on a daily basis to keep them happy and healthy!
Keeping an eye out for early signs of medical problems is one of the most important things you can do for a dog or cat in your care, not only means you are meeting your duty of care required by the RSPCA, but could also save you a lot of stress, time and money in the long run – not to mention the pet’s health.
10 Daily Checks to Perform Daily for Pets
1. Body Check
On a daily basis you should be performing a full body check of the pet. Gently run your hands over every part of the dog or cat’s body and check for lumps, cuts, inflammation, rashes, ticks, fleas and any signs of discomfort.
2. Eating & Drinking
If the cat or dog stops eating or drinking for more than 24 hours it’s time to contact the vet, especially if the pet is usually a big eater. Pet Owners must provide all meals for the duration of the stay because switching diet can also cause stomach upsets. If you think something is up, it probably is.
3. Toilet Habits
Diarrhea, constipation, blood and mucus are the four things to look out for in pets stool. Similarly if the urine looks dark, cloudy or blooded then this should be cause for concern. Keep an eye on the regularity of dog or cats toilet habits and make sure the appearance is consistent.
4. Feet Check
Examine your dogs paws for any cuts, grazes or growths. Long nails (including dew claws) can sometimes cause problems and should be trimmed, either with dog clippers or a file. Be careful when cutting/trimming dogs or cats nails as this can sometimes cause bleeding.
5. On Walks
When you're out on walks, watch the way the dog moves when they walk and run. Does they ever seem stiff? Overly tired? Or have a limp? Coughing and excessive panting may also indicate problems. Again, if it seems out of the ordinary take the pet to the vet or jump on VetChat – a video online consultation service.
6. Mouth Check
Check the pet’s mouth for anything out of the ordinary. Gums should be pink, so darker/redder patches may indicate a problem. Check for growths and lumps, and make sure that the teeth are clear and that none are loose. Check the tongue for cuts and sores. Unusually bad breath could be an indication of digestive problems.
7. Eye Check
The dog or cats eyes should be clear and the pupils should be the same size. Check for ingrowing eye lashes or hair that looks like it's causing a problem. There should also be no excessive discharge or signs of irritation. If there is, visit the vet.
8. Nose Check
Dogs noses should be moist and cool. Keep an eye out for excessive discharge, sneezing and that breathing is easy and unobstructed.
9. Ear Check
Finally, check the pets ears for wax-build up, swelling and bad odour. Wax can be removed gently with cotton wool but you should never poke anything directly down pet’s ears. Bad odour or swelling will need the attention of a vet.
10. Weight Check
Obesity is the cause of a huge number of problems in dogs and of course, should be avoided. Keep the dog or cat on a steady, well balanced diet.
These 10 basic checks should be performed on a daily basis and doing so will ensure you catch any sign of trouble early on. Remember, if anything looks out of the ordinary consult a vet.