It's common knowledge that a good diet means good health, more often than not. If we take care of our pets, they'll benefit from this, and lead much happier, healthier lives.
But how do we know if we're giving our pet the nutrition and care that's best for them? We may be feeding our pets food that hardly benefits them at all, without any understanding of what, if anything, we're doing wrong?
Well, we're here to tell you about the tell-tale signs to look out for to let you know if your pet is living a healthy, vigorous lifestyle, so that you can assess if any changes need to be made.
Signs of good health in cats
Eyes: Cats are known for their intense eyes, able to see clearly and easily even in the dark. In keeping with this, a healthy kitty's eyes will be perfectly bright and clear, without any murkiness. Additionally, there should be no discharge from their eyes. If you do see frequent discharge, be sure to get in touch with your vet to rule out the possibility of a more pressing problem at hand.
Ears: Make sure that your feline friend's ears are as clean as possible, and free of any discharge, odour, or redness. Always keep an eye on your cat's ears, as untreated ear problems aren't just painful, but they can lead to your cat losing their hearing over time.
Mouth: Just like people, a cat should ideally have good, fresh breath! Bad breath is often a sign of an underlying health issue and should be treated with proper care and nutrition. Additionally, your cat's gums should be a lovely pink, and their teeth should be clean and free of tartar or plaque. You'll also want to be sure that they aren't struggling with any unpleasant sores or growths.
Coat: A clean, shiny coat is an immediate sign of a happy, healthy cat.
Weight: If your cat is active, they'll almost certainly be in a healthy weight range. If your cat struggles with weight problems, be sure to contact your vet for nutritional advice that can help them shed the kilos.
Litter box habits: If it seems like your cat is using their litter box more frequently than usual, or their stool or urine seems unusual, that may be a sign of an underlying issue. A healthy cat's litter box habits should be regular and consistent.
Signs of bad health in cats
Diarrhoea: All sorts of things can cause diarrhoea. From bacteria and viruses, to overeating food and dealing with psychological stress.
Constipation: Two common causes of constipation are ingestion of hair, as well as insufficient water intake.
Vomiting: While it isn't uncommon for cats to vomit, if this becomes frequent or persistent, it's a clear sign that they may be unwell.
Abnormal urination: If your feline friend is having difficulty urinating, or there is blood in their urine, they may be suffering from an infection of the urinary tract.
Signs of good health in dogs
Breath: No dog parent is a stranger to bad doggy breath! Unpleasant breath, however, can indicate a health problem, which is why it's important to keep their teeth clean and their breath relatively fresh. Try to stay on the lookout for any sores or growths as well, as a healthy pup should be free from those kinds of issues.
Coat: Due to the natural oils in your dog's skin, as well as regular shedding, a healthy dog will almost always boast a clean, shiny coat.
Weight: An active, healthy dog should be in a comfortable weight range, allowing them to run and play comfortably. If your dog is overweight, be sure to contact a vet. A simple change in diet can go a long way toward helping your pet look and feel their best.
Bladder and bowels: A pooch in good health should have stool free of any abnormalities. Additionally, their bowel and bladder movements should be relatively regular and consistent.
Behaviour: A healthy dog will usually be alert and easily engaged. If your pet is happily greeting you at the door, it isn't just a sign of love, but a sign of excellent health, too!
Ears: Healthy ears should be clean and odour-free, with no signs of waxy build-up or unpleasant discharge.
Signs of bad health in dogs
Obesity: Obesity is one of the leading causes of medical issues in dogs, and, if left unchecked, can cause problems ranging from diabetes and heart conditions, to skin conditions and a significantly increased risk of cancer.
Low energy: If your dog seems tired or disinterested, it might just mean that they have an underlying health problem. Speak to your vet today, and see what you can do to get your dog back to feeling their best.
By observing these simple signs, keeping track of your precious pet's health is easier than it may seem. Hill's knows the importance of good health, which is why their Special Care meals are specifically formulated not just to be delicious, but to keep your feline friends and canine companions in perfect condition!
Browse Hill's Special Care collection of meals today, and get your pet the care and nutrition that's right for them.