It is best to familiarize yourself with what is normal for your pets.
Check weekly for lumps gently stroke the head and work your way into the rest of the body looking and feeling for things that don't belong on the dog or cat bumps, tenderness, wounds, parasites and burrs, in the pets coat.
Sniff the ears and remove dirt and waxy debris with moistened soft cloth specific ear cleaner do not use alcohol it will dry the ear canal and can sting if the pet has scratched with her claws.
Possible sign of ear infection red, smells bad, pepper or coffee ground like dirt, ear mites see the vet.
Eyes tear excessively, have a thick discharge or rubbing the eyes. Use purified water, flushing from the outer corner gently pull up on upper eyelid allowing fluid and debris to run down the snout have the vet look at the eye.
The best time to socialize your dog is between the age of eight weeks and four months old, is so important for the development. Socialization helps the dog be stress-free and it allows the dog to be around different people and environment. When taking the dog for frequent walks it allows the dog to smell, listen to the different sounds, dogs do need physical activity, and mental activity. It teaches them to behave around other people and animals, but some dogs lose their social skills because they're too isolated. If your dog wasn't socialized as a puppy it doesn't mean he/she should not socialize and play with other pets. Some dogs are shy because they may have been mistreated or just timid. In either case you need to work with your dog according to his/her pace in meeting people and other dogs, that might take time
When the cats feel stressed is when they stop using the litter box. Eliminate any kind of stress or frustration in their environment.
The box is too deep with litter the cat only prefers one to two inches of litter
Sometimes the liner makes the cat uncomfortable
You should have one litter box for each cat
Clean the litter box each day, cats are fussy
Rinse the litter box out completely with baking soda or unscented soap once a week.
The majority of cats prefer large boxes and clumping, unscented litter
Some cats decide that they dislike the smell or feel of a different litter
Cats avoid their litter box if it’s in a location they dislike
Some cats don't like litter boxes with high sides
Medical problems can cause inappropriate elimination
close blinds on windows and doors so the cat isn’t upset by cats outside
No punishment for behavior related to fear, phobia, or anxiety, this will only increase the fear response. It can even lead to aggression toward the person that is punishing the cat. No yelling and squirting your cat with a water bottle. Anxiety can also be brought on by physical pain, illness, or trauma. Cats that were deprived at a young age of improper socialization and environmental exposures may become fearful or anxious. Some cats have separation anxiety. Left untreated, these disorders are likely to progress be sure to see a vet.
Toad poisoning is a true medical emergency, so if you see a dog or cat with a critter in his mouth (especially if long strings of saliva are present, the pet experiences seizures or collapses) you should: lean pet’s head forward or to the side to prevent swallowing, and rinse with large quantities of water for several minutes, then get to the veterinarian monitoring vitals on the way.
If shock, cardiac or pulmonary arrest occur, knowing proper treatment could be a lifesaver!
Article By Denise Fleck, The Pet Safety Crusader
Professional Pet Sitting Services offered in the Upper to Mid-Pinellas County Area