Over a quarter of the British population owns a dog. Your canine friend is by far the most popular pet in the country. And it’s easy to understand why! Dogs are the perfect companion in a family. They are soft-natured and patient with children, but with the appropriate training, they can become fearsome guardians for your home. With Labradors being the favourite breed of Britons, especially as assistance dogs for owners with mobility issues, visual or hearing impairment. They also make ideal emotional support animals. But ultimately, Britons love all dogs! However, as much as we praise ourselves on being conscious and loving pet owners, people are not always good at recognising health troubles in their dogs.
Vet costs are rising
The average price of medical treatment for dogs has risen by 4% over the last year, with the average claim costing around £757. As a pet owner, you can’t afford to let warning signs go unnoticed. With 20% of claims regarding treatments for tumours and abnormal growths as well as another almost 20% for muscular disorders, it seems dog lovers need to be more attentive to the health of their furry friend to avoid high veterinary costs.
Establish a trust relationship with your pet
It is your responsibility to establish a trust bond with your dog. Being in a position where you can check your pet for wounds, growth or pains is helpful. So, it’s essential to create a relationship in which your dog is happy to let you let check and wash its body. However, don’t overdo it: dogs may be patient, but you don’t want to make your friend feel uncomfortable or threatened. You can use a regular wash as an excuse to check your dog’s skin, fur, and body for potential health issues. Admittedly, there are other reasons to clean your dog, such as maintaining the quality of its coat or clearing out after a misadventure with a muddy puddle!
Recognise the signs that there’s something wrong
Not all health problems are visible. But your dog might be trying to let you know about their discomfort. Just as people can express pain through gestures, your dog can emphasise physical pain through the behaviour. Observe everyday behaviour to notice changes, such as increased or decreased sleeping – especially if it’s too uncomfortable to sleep –, reduce appetite, withdrawal from social interactions, etc. Your dog might also vocalise the discomfort through panting without being hot, squealing, or pulling its ears back.
Is your pet stressed out?
Health does need to relate to physical troubles. Your dog might be struggling with mental health issues, such as extreme stress. Extreme stress can occur when your dog encounters a challenging situation, or when you need to make a change to your routine, such as moving homes or working unusual hours. A stressed out dog might be suffering from excessive shedding, excessive licking of the nose and lips, and abnormally destructive behaviours. Don’t be too quick to judge, though. Untrained dogs and puppies will naturally leave a path of destruction behind them!
Identifying issues as they occur can help you to keep your dog healthy for longer. Additionally, you’ll be pleased to know that this can also cut down your vet costs significantly!