If your pet is your closest and best friend, then it might also be the one you spend most of your time with. A pet-owner relationship is usually a close one, with a strong element of co-dependency, which means your lifestyle tends to reflect on your pet and vice-versa. It shouldn’t surprise you to hear, then, that your pet’s behavior changes when it doesn’t feel well and illness symptoms could easily paint a picture of your own health. Strange as it may sound, there are some ways in which people can tell you’re not well by looking at your pet.
Studies suggest domestic dogs are actually very perceptive when it comes to human emotions, which means they can use facial expressions and your tone of voice to decipher your mood. This is why they usually know when they’re being reprimanded at work, for instance; they sense that you might be sad or on edge. Any negative feelings including fear and depression can rub off on your dog, and then, however hard you’re trying to conceal your problem from people around you, an observant person can guess it by looking at your pet.
Cats and dogs suffer from a lot of the same allergies that affect humans, they just tend to react differently to them. If your pet is suddenly scratching or licking themselves more than usual, it shouldn’t be surprising that you start manifesting some allergy symptoms shortly after. It’s especially topical when allergy seasons come, and it’s not so rare that a pet owner and the pet share the same allergy signs.
If you eat a lot or spend most of your time lounging on the couch, it is very likely that your dog or cat does as well. A study has shown that the percentage of obese dogs and cats is growing along with the percentage of obese people in the US, so if you have a fat dog or cat, the odds are that you need to start a new diet yourself or get more active ASAP. Taking your pet for walks or playing with them more often is a great idea, because it will make you both more active at once and help shed those extra pounds you’ve accumulated on the couch.
Animals are closer to the ground, so they are usually exposed to a higher concentration of pollution and airborne irritants. If your dog coughs or sneezes often, you shouldn’t pass it up but rather see it as a red flag, because these symptoms are usually indicative that something is wrong in your environment. So although it may take you more time, you can eventually develop the similar symptoms as your dog. Remember that most pets – and animals in general – are very sensitive to polluted environments and react to them long before you can feel there is something wrong.