As pet parents, most of us are constantly looking for ways to improve our pets’ lives and help them live longer. While there are all sorts of ways we are accomplishing this, perhaps the most effective means to the end is actually not revolutionary at all.
Being an active participant in your pet’s care and pet health monitoring are actually the most effective way of extending your pet’s quantity and quality of life. By seeking routine wellness care, we can establish a baseline for our pet’s health and do better for him or her!
Pet Health Monitoring as a Tool
Close monitoring of your pet’s health is an important part of pet ownership. Paying close attention to small changes can alert owners and veterinarians alike to problems very early in their process. Early intervention has a few major advantages:
There really aren’t any disadvantages to keeping tabs on your pet’s health!
How to Establish Your Pet’s Health Baseline
Getting a health baseline started for your pet is not as difficult as it might seem. Most of the information needed to monitor your pet’s health is right in front of you. Paying attention to and recording your pet’s information can help to keep your furry friend healthy. Be sure to:
Keep tabs on your pet – Keep a small binder or notebook so you can keep track of all your pet’s health information. You should record your pet’s diet, weight, medications, and changing health concerns here. A three ring binder makes a great way to store print outs and handouts from us as well as the information you collect at home, or keep a file on your phone to document your pet’s basics and any changes. It is also important to pay attention to your pet’s day to day habits. Changes in personality, routines, eating, drinking, and bathroom habits can signify a problem.
Make it a point to seek wellness care – Your pet needs to visit us even when you feel like everything is going well at home. This is our opportunity to monitor your pet’s weight and overall demeanor, his or her breathing, heart sounds, and even coat quality. This is where we get to know your pet and sometimes pick up on a problem before you even know it exists. Adult pets should visit us once a year at minimum. Senior pets and those with health problems need to visit more often.
Listen to recommendations – While it may sound like overkill to run a blood panel or check a fecal sample on your perfectly healthy pet, these types of tests, known as screening tests, have a very important function. Screening tests help us to detect minor changes in your pet’s health status before you notice symptoms. This dramatically increases our power to help your pet. Screening tests also allow us to get a pulse on what your pet’s normal values are so that we can compare in the future.
Pet health monitoring is one of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal to help pets live longer and fuller lives. If you haven’t already, be sure to start a pet health baseline record for your pet and give us a call to schedule your pet’s next wellness appointment.