It can be unsettling when your pet isn’t acting like their usual, happy self. Before running off to the Internet to attempt to diagnose what may be happening with your dog or cat, there are several things that you can do to help us determine what may be troubling them.
Importance of Keeping a Timeline
You’ll want to take as many relevant notes that you can. Get out a pad of paper or notebook and be prepared to take some notes with regard to each of these areas of your pet’s health. There are multiple aspects of your pet’s health to look at such as their eating, digestion, sleep and behavior. Keep a timeline by logging the date and time so that it’s easier for you to keep track of any changes you see over time. How long have these problems been happening? Did they come on suddenly or gradually?
Keep note of anything that you may have done to help correct the problem(s) that your pet is dealing with. Have any other pets in your household been affected, or is it isolated to one of your pets? You’ll want to also take note of any changes that may have taken place in your pet’s environment, such as any new pets, food, treats or toys that they may be playing with.
Monitor Eating Habits
When it comes to their eating, how are their current habits compared to what they normally do? Are they eating any more or less? Take a note of how much they ate, or if you have difficulty calculating simply take a photograph with your cell phone of how much food was consumed. Are they drinking more or less water than usual? When a pet refuses to eat, it might be indicative of an illness, so it’s important to monitor their behavior to see if there are any other underlying issues.
Your Pet’s Digestion
Next, you’ll want to note how your pet is digesting their food. It may sound somewhat unpleasant, but looking at their feces will tell you a lot about their health. Many of us who are pet owners are used to cleaning up after our pets, so just take a quick glance at it to see if there is anything abnormal. You’ll want to take a note of consistency. Is your pet urinating more or less than usual? If your pet is suffering from diarrhea, you’ll want to note it. Is there an unusual color to their waste? If so, take a photograph and make a note of it to show your vet.
How is your pet sleeping at night? Are they well rested in the morning and up to their typical behavior, or is your pet lethargic and slow moving? Keep close notes as to their sleep. If your pet is suffering from disruptions in sleep, this is important information to pass along to your vet. Rest is important for our furry loved ones as well as us humans. If there are issues that may be disrupting your pet’s ability to get quality sleep, it’ll be important to take note of these irregularities for your vet.
Look for Behavioral Changes
Lastly, how is your pet behaving? Have you noticed any changes in their personality? Some changes may be gradual, while some may be a lot more recent. Be sure to take note of both. The first time that you see something a little abnormal shouldn’t be cause for alarm. Simply make a note of it.
Don’t be afraid to take video if you need to. Is your pet behaving in a way that’s different? Are they making noises that you’re not used to hearing? These are items that should be documented for your vet to review.
If you see anything abnormal on your pet’s skin, take a picture of what you see. These pictures can help your vet, especially if there are any changes over time. More information is always better than less, so don’t hesitate to keep good, detailed notes!
All of these tips are meant to help you provide information that could help your vet diagnose any potential issues with your pet. Don’t be alarmed if there’s anything out of the ordinary! By taking good notes, pictures and video, you can potentially help your vet diagnose a potential issue more quickly and accurately.