Many of us can hardly imagine living without our pets, but to make sure they live long and healthy lives, we need to conduct regular check-ups at home as well. Sometimes we even don't realize that our pets could be in danger. For example, studies say that parasites are one of the most common causes of pet ailments, and often there are no real symptoms until our pets become very sick, which is why we need to check our pets regularly.
We at Bright Side suggest conducting pet check-ups by yourself, that are on par with vet clinics, to reduce the risks of all kinds of animal diseases.
1. Take your pet's temperature.
For a regular home check-up, you can purchase a special thermometer that reads your pet's temperature by easily sticking the probe inside their ear. But It is also possible to do it with a regular digital rectal thermometer, just don't force it too much.
The typical temperature range found in cats is 100° F – 102.5° F (37.7° C – 39.1° C).
The average temperature for dogs usually hangs around 101° F (38° C) as well, but it's fine if it's 1 or 2 degrees higher or lower than this.
2. Measure and control your pet's heart rate.
For this procedure, you'll need a free hand and a watch, stopwatch, or your smartphone.
1. To measure a cat's heart rate, just place your hands on your cat's chest behind their elbows. Count the beats for 15 seconds and multiply your result by 4. You may also feel the pulse by placing 2 fingers on the inside of their groin. The normal heart rate for cats is 140-220 beats per minute.
2. To measure a dog's heart rate, put the palm of your hand on the chest of your dog under the armpits. The normal heart rate of dogs is 70 to 120 beats per minute (depending on the size of the animal).
3. Check them for eye problems.
Eye problems are one of the most common reasons why dogs and cats visit the vet. Cats don’t have as many eye problems as dogs because normally kitties live indoors which dramatically reduces the risk of an eye injury or infection, however, it doesn't account for all outdoor cats.
Eye infections can be different and very serious, causing issues like blindness which is why it is very important to check your pet's eyes regularly. Clean them if you see some dirt. In case you notice any serious inflammation, don't hesitate to take your pet to the vet.
4. Examine their ears for mites and scratches.
Check your pet's ears for mites and infections. You may find the ear irritated or scratched. Examine carefully including the inside. Don't be afraid to turn out the ear. It's a problem if:
- any part of the ear is painful
- there's a bad smell
- the skin is inflamed
- new lumps or bumps appear
- something is moving inside
- there's a lot of wax
5. Keep their paws and nails healthy.
Check their paws and claws regularly because pets use them every day and may injure them while playing with other animals or scratching things. If you notice the paws bleeding at all, do everything not to let them get infected, otherwise, your pet will suffer greatly from pain and discomfort.
6. Look after your pet's teeth.
Your pet’s teeth should be checked at least once a year by your veterinarian and regularly by you for signs of any dental problems. What you need to check for is:
- bad breath
- broken or loose teeth
- abnormal chewing or drooling
- reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- pain in or around the mouth
Brushing your pet’s teeth is the one most effective way to keep their teeth healthy between dental cleanings.
7. Control their weight and behavior.
Monitor your pet’s food intake and behavior. Just like humans, pets with obesity are at risk of developing illnesses that can shorten their life. Examine your pet and pay attention when they're acting lazy or sad, or if they've started losing or gaining weight.
8. Check their fur and skin.
Check your pet's skin for scratches and the fur for parasites. If your furry friend spends lots of time outside, there's a big possibility that they can get mites from other street animals.
And keep loving and taking care of your animals!
How often do you check your pet at home? Write a comment below if our article was useful for you.
Preview photo credit koda_awesome_munster / instagram