There’s no more worrying time for a pet owner than when their beloved companion is showing worrying symptoms of ill health. Whether it’s strange behaviour, loss of appetite, an unexplained limp or clear signs of pain, it’s clear that something is wrong – perhaps seriously!
Panicking doesn’t help. Our pets are very sensitive to our moods, and if we panic when we see them in distress, we will only add to that distress. Loud voices, fast, irregular movements and a disrupted routine will panic your pet even further, so try to keep calm.
Today we’re taking a look at what you can do in situations like this so you can react calmly and with confidence when you’re worried about the pet you love.
The best thing you can do for your pet is make some preparations from day one of pet ownership (or before!) so you have key contacts and resources ready to offer help when you need it.
The most important of these is registering at the vet’s surgery. If you’ve been hesitating on finding a vet, UK law actually obliges you to as part of your responsibility to protect animals in your care from harm and suffering. It’s also the best way to be ready for a serious health issue for your pet: when disaster strikes you know who to call and how to get there.
It’s also worth considering pet insurance: while it adds to your expenses each month, it does so in a smaller, predictable way than occasional large vet bills. It’s easier to budget for pet insurance than unexpected health issues for your pet, so it’s well worth your consideration as another way to be ready for difficult times.
Something that can really help you make the right decisions when your pet is sick is a little research. If you learn about some of the common health conditions of the pet you’ve chosen, from species to breed right down to gender. This will help in two ways.
Firstly, if you can recognise common symptoms and what they mean, you’ll be able to identify some of the more serious health problems early and get your pet the help they need faster.
Secondly, it will help you spot the symptoms that aren’t serious, and help you control your worries. Seeing your pet throw up can be upsetting and anxiety inducing, but if you know that the majority of the time it’s not an indicator of anything more serious than an upset stomach, you can save your worries for when they’re really necessary.