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3 Subtle Signs Of Illness That New Pet Owners Should Know

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Are you thinking about getting a dog or a cat? Will this be the first time that you've owned a pet by yourself? Pet ownership can be an extremely fun and rewarding experience. However, you should also be aware that it can entail a lot of responsibility. In order to make sure that your new furry friend is happy, you need to be able to tell when he or she is feeling unwell. These signs are not always immediately obvious, especially since they won't be able to tell you outright when they're not feeling good. Some things that you should look out for include:

Lethargy: Some cats and dogs are normally less energetic than others. But if your pet is normally full of energy and suddenly stops this behavior, then it's time to take your pet to see a veterinarian. Your curious and energetic pet may have ingested something that he or she should not, giving him or her a stomach ache that discourages playtime. Even if your pet does not normally chew on things, a newly introduced object can sometimes prove to be irresistible to your pet. For instance, a cat with no history of chewing could suddenly become enamored with the plastic bags you bring home from a grocery store. The bags may be chewed on and partially consumed before you realize that anything is amiss.

Loss of appetite: When you first bring your new pet home, it's likely that he or she will be too anxious to eat much during the first day or two. New places are scary and being scared can cause a loss of appetite. After those first few days, a loss of appetite may signal something more serious. A cat or a dog that normally eats well but who suddenly starts eating very little or nothing at all is a concern. It could well be anxiety, but it could also be a number of other things. You should take your pet to the veterinarian to get checked out, especially if he or she is refusing favorite treats.

Baldness: Bald patches on your dog or cat can be a sign of a host of things, even in the absence of other symptoms. Fleas, allergies, and nervous habits are all things that can result in a loss of fur. Your veterinarian can pinpoint the cause and give you a solution to the problem. For allergies, your vet might prescribe an allergy pill or cream. If there seems to be no other cause, your dog or cat may need anti-anxiety medication in order to stop compulsive licking or pulling of hair.