Establishing Your Pet’s Health Baseline
Instinctually, most animals are very good at hiding the fact that they are sick or injured. This means that, as pet owners, we often don’t realize that our pets are having a problem until things are more advanced. Many diseases and problems are better treated and/or cured when they are detected early. This makes it important that pet owners be very observant in regards to their pet’s health.
It is also important to be sure to establish a pet health baseline for each of your four-legged family members. This will serve as their health barometer throughout their lifetime. Learn more about why you should know your pet’s health baseline and how to establish it.
How to Watch Your Pet’s Health Barometer
There are several ways that you can start to establish your pet’s health baseline; and honestly, none of it is hard to do. Just be sure to:
- Pay attention to your pet’s daily habits, including how much he or she eats, how often he or she goes outside, drinks water, goes out to play, how the skin and coat look and feel, etc.
- Keep routine wellness examination appointments
- Allow regular screening tests such a blood work and urine examinations
These are important for several reasons. You are your pet’s advocate. Being able to recognize a change in behavior, eating habits, or urination could be key to diagnosing a problem.
Routine wellness visits are also extremely important. Even if your pet seems completely healthy, bringing him or her in allows us to trend his or her weight, document and monitor any lumps or bumps, and look for signs of a problem such as mild muscle loss that the average owner may not pick up on. Pets should come in at least twice a year for an examination, with older pets or those with a problem benefitting from more frequent visits.
Screening tests such a lab work are also a cornerstone of preventative care. No pet is the same and learning what your pet’s normal values are can help us identify trends even before they are outside of the “normal” range.
The Importance of Having Your Pet’s Health Baseline
Learning what is normal for your pet can have several benefits. Your pet’s health barometer can:
- Increase the odds of catching a problem early in its course, often making treatments more successful
- Help you to prevent many diseases and problems in your pet
- Save you money in the long run by managing problems earlier rather than waiting until there are fewer options
- Extend life expectancy for many pets
What’s not to like?
Paying close attention to your pet’s health and being an active participant by keeping a relationship between yourself, your pet, and us is a valuable tool. Your pet’s baseline health information can be an extremely powerful tool in our arsenal. Our goal is to keep you pet happy and healthy for a long time, and creating a pet health baseline is a great way to accomplish this.