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To be able to identify problems your pet may be experiencing you need to know what is "normal". This means being aware of many different factors including:-

  • What is there normal energy level
  • How alert is your pet when he or she are healthy and well
  • The healthy weight of your pet
  • Check their coat and skin for bumps, cuts or growths
  • Check the ears for redness and discoloration
  • Check the eyes, get your dog to follow your finger, so that you can check the whites of the eye for excessive redness
  • Look at the gums and teeth regularly, know what is normal, some breeds have darker gums than others, some have black marks which are quite normal
  • Check the nose for cuts or grazes
  • Check their paws and pads for cuts, or grazes

Learn what is a normal heart rate for your pet:

  • Do this while your pet is resting
  • Count the number of breaths in 30 seconds, double it to calculate the resting breathing rate.
  • Breathing rates in dogs vary between breeds

The final things to consider is your pet's feeding habits a change could indicate there is a problem and checking their stools, runny stools could indicate a stomach upset which could need veterinary assistance if it continues, also check for blood in the stools.  Also is your pet passing stools regularly? If your pet is let out regularly and still wets in the house, this may indicate a problem.

If you take the time to know your pet and your pet's habits you will be in a good position to know when something isn't quite right.