Wouldn’t it be great if animals could speak our language? This way, pet owners around the world would be able to know exactly what their furry friends are feeling instead of having to play the guessing game all the time.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case, but that doesn’t mean that there’s no way to tell when and where they’re hurting – their barks, scratches, whines, and other little action can tell you many things about their mood and well-being!
Without further ado, here’s a list of behaviours to look out for in your furkid to better understand their specific needs:
Change in appetite
It’s easy to spot when your dog or cat refuses to take a bite out of their meal. If you’ve recently changed their food products to another brand or another diet entirely, you can stop panicking for now – they probably just need some time to get used to it. To encourage them to eat, try mixing the new food with their usual food and gradually increase the percentage of the former while reducing the amount of latter.
However, if their inappetence has been going on for more than just a few days, it might be a cause for concern. Less consequential reasons include ageing, recent vaccinations, and unfamiliar surroundings, but start booking an appointment with your trusted vet if even those causes do not seem possible because it could be a result of an injury, dental disease, or illness!
We all know that ageing does a number to anyone’s health, including our pets, but sometimes, their sluggishness, lethargy, or dull moods may not necessarily be a sign of ageing.
There are plenty of other reasons why your furry friend is not as active or lively as usual. Infections like parvovirus, leptospirosis, and metabolic diseases such as diabetes, liver problems, and hypoglycaemia could equally be the leading cause for your pet’s lethargy.
Alternatively, just like humans, pets can face depression too, which can be caused by the loss of a friend or persistent boredom. Once you notice a drop in energy and mood in your furkid, it’s time to bring him/her to the vet for a checkup and reflect if he/she has been subjected to possible causes for depression.
Sudden weight gain or loss
Fuzzy, chubby dogs and cats have always been a sight for sore eyes because of how adorably round they appear, but in reality, being overweight is a condition that is far from ‘cute’ – especially for your pet.
Thyroid and kidney disease, cancer, and diabetes are all illnesses that can lead to drastic weight gain or weight loss. Long usage of prescription drugs or a high dosage amount may also be the cause for those extra pounds.
If you spot your pet limping, it could be because of a reason as simple as having something stuck in their paw. Them walking on grass patches or pavements in the neighbourhood easily means that they will be stepping on all kinds of things, so always make sure to clean your pet’s paw thoroughly after each walk to make sure that there is no rock, thorn, or any other foreign object stuck!
Other likely causes include muscle sprain or strain, nerve injury, primary bone diseases like fractures and tumours, or even toenail issues. If you suspect that one of these might be the cause, it’s best to let a vet and a pet grooming expert deal with the situation.
Don’t just limit yourself to these signs though – there are a lot more that can be spotted, so always make sure to monitor your pet and familiarise with their usual behaviours so that you can pick out anomalies at one glance!