Use Dr. Marty Becker's advice that recently appeared in the Sacramento Bee to help educate your clients about being aware of their pets' physical condition. You can help confirm any behavioral changes as illnesses with the use of diagnostic tools such as blood or urine tests. You clients should be aware of the subtle changes in their pet's behavior, especially regarding changes in the following areas:
- Eating habits, especially loss of appetite. Clients should be aware of how much and how eagerly your pet eats, and they should make a mental note of any changes. The ability to keep an eye on feeding behavior is one of the best arguments against keeping food available at all times.
- Activity level: If a pet that's always ready to run is suddenly not interested in playing, the lethargy may be cause for concern.
- Drinking habits: Pets drink more in the summer than in the winter, but even taking that into consideration, you look for variations in your pet's drinking habits. Get an idea of what's a normal amount of water consumed, and be aware of changes. You don't need to measure by the ounce: Just keep an eye on how often you're refilling that water bowl.
- Voice: Does the dog's bark or cat's meow sound different? Is the pattern of vocalizing changing?
If clients think something is off with their pets, encourage them to come in for a visit.