It is becoming widely accepted that people who live with animal companions enjoy longer and healthier lives. Our pets remind us to be gentle, loyal, and trusting. They make us laugh, often during the most challenging times in our lives. Best of all, they connect us to something basic in our own nature. In return, they depend on us to provide for their health and well-being.

But because we don’t always know what they are feeling or thinking, caring for our animal friends can sometimes be challenging—especially since we want to uncover any problems as soon as we can.

Have you ever thought, “I wish my pet could just tell me what’s wrong?”

Actually, they often do. Just not in English. They talk to us in their appearance and behavior. They often give us signs—and we must become detectives to notice them.

Some people give their animals a “PETscan” each week. To scan your pet, look at your animals’ eyes to see if they’re clear, study their coat to make sure it’s not dry or flaky, notice if their mood is alert and calm, and feel their body and limbs for lumps or soreness. Also, notice any changes in their appetite, energy or elimination.

If your animal shows any signs of illness, always consult your veterinarian. If you find something minor, it’s smart to track it in a journal. If the change continues or progresses, you’ll have information about details and duration to give your veterinarian.

What is really mind-boggling to the pet guardian is the fact that an animal can develop a health problem without showing outward symptoms! It is heartbreaking for someone to find that their dog or cat has an advanced infection or disease at their regular veterinary visit, when the owner has seen no warning signs in the pet’s appearance or behavior.

For example, a dog or cat can lose up to two-thirds of its kidney functioning before it shows any symptoms of kidney disease.

Therefore, you need more tools than just your caring observation. A new product called ThePetCheckup was created to address this very challenge.

ThePetCheckup is an easy-to-use, early detection at-home urinalysis test. When you give this health screen to your dogs and cats on a regular basis (we recommend monthly), you can locate imbalances that lead to many of the most common illnesses that affect their health, including kidney infection, kidney disease, diabetes, hepatitis, bacterial infections, prostate or liver disorders, urinary tract infections, urinary bladder disease, and other ailments.

Most importantly, this test can indicate imbalances at an early stage—even before symptoms appear.

ThePetCheckup uses the same diagnostic materials commonly used in veterinary clinics and specially packages them for you to use at home. Giving your pets ThePetCheckup each month helps you know when your animal friend needs veterinary attention between routine visits.

Not only is ThePetCheckup a way to detect imbalances that your animal can’t tell you about. It’s also one of the veterinarian’s best friends. According to an article in the American Veterinary Medical Association (July, 2003):

“Veterinarians know that early detection allows problems to be treated more easily and more affordably, and usually results in a better outcome for the pet.”

Statistics show that early detection is the most powerful tool for creating and maintaining good health. A study in 2000 conducted by the Pet Health and Nutrition Center of Corning, NY, stated, “If detected early, 74.7% of common diseases in dogs and 63% of common diseases in cats can be prevented by dietary modifications alone over a one-year period.”

So, the best ways to gather information about your pet’s health and locate any problems at an early stage are to:

Give your dog and cat a weekly “PETscan” to observe their appearance and behavior.
And give them ThePetCheckup monthly to check for imbalances that can lead to over ten of the most common dog and cat ailments.
You can gather the clues, but your veterinarian is the only one who can make an accurate diagnosis.

Your pet and your veterinarian are depending on your Sherlock Holmes’ skills, because medical treatments are often simpler, less costly, and more successful when the illness is detected at an early stage.

by Bev Allen
It is always better to prevent a disease, or to catch it early, than to have to treat it at a later stage.

In addition to being the owner of Lily&Me, Inc., a company dedicated to improving the lives of animal companions, Bev is also very active in animal welfare. Since 2002, she has been spay/neuter coordinator of Noah’s Ark Animal Foundation in Fairfield, IA. She also oversees two pet columns: “Animal Tracks,” in the Iowa SOURCE magazine, and “Animal Talk,” in the Heartland Spirit newspaper.