If you house pets, your animals could do with a regular health check-up at least once a month to ensure all is well with them. You needn’t take him to the vet (although that is a wiser option) for this. You can do the monitoring right at your home.
Here’s how you can determine some of your pet’s vital signs and see if something is amiss:
- Have a spare digital thermometer for your pets (you can’t be using the same thing for yourself because a pet’s temperature is taken rectally!) and regularly monitor their temperature. Apply a coat of Vaseline to the tip of the thermometer before inserting it into the pet’s rectum to avoid discomfort. A temperature between 100-104 F is a concern and a Vet should be called in that case.
- You can check for your pet’s heartbeat by placing your hand on the left hands side of his ribcage where the elbow fits into the chest. Count the number of heartbeats for 15 seconds and then multiply the number by 4 to get your pet’s resting heart rate. Before doing this exercise give his belly a little rub to calm him down. Google your pet’s normal heart rate (depending on its size and breed) and check to see if there is any abnormality.
- Monitor your pet’s respiratory rate. The best time to do it is when your pet is extremely relaxed or asleep. His respiratory rate would be the inhales per minute. Check if the pet is taking any extra effort to inhale of exhale. If you find that its breathing is not smooth, it’s time to contact the Vet.
- To check if your pet is well hydrated, grab the dog’s scruff (the loose skin behind the back of his neck) and release it. If the skin does not immediately spring back into normal position, your pet is dehydrated and should immediately be given fluids to restore its health.
Keeping a tab on your pet’s vital signs is a great way to avoid emergencies. Go take care of your animal buddies. Happy petting!
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