How to care for a sick dog at home

Caring for a sick dog at home can become quite nerve-wracking, but it’s not as tough as it initially appears.

Your dog’s health care is a serious business – if the dog has a serious condition, or diarrhoea, then it can become difficult to care for your pet at home. But if the dog can be cared for at home, then this is certainly an option to try. After all, your pet will be happiest when at home being taken care of by you. Take a detailed dog health care chart from the vet, including resting and feeding times, signs to watch out for, how to check your dog’s vitals, etc.

* Keep your dog comfortable.

Your normally exuberant dog will be morose and sleepy when it’s unwell. Let your pet rest in their own space, making sure there is no unnecessary noise or stimulus in the environment. Your dog needs to rest adequately to get their immunity back and to let the medication work. It is a good idea to keep crawling infants and toddlers away from the dog during this time, or the pet might get excited. If any accidental contact with the sick dog’s drool or vomit/faeces occurs, wash immediately with warm water and medicated soap.

* Don’t force feed, but give the dog enough water.

Your dog might not be able to keep solid food in, especially if it is recovering from a digestive ailment. Your vet will provide tips on best dog food and what to feed your dog at this time. If you find that your dog does not eat anything, let it rest and don’t force feed. This approach is fine only till such that the dog does not dramatically lose weight or get sicker. Do make sure that even if the dog is not eating much, it is drinking sufficient amounts of water and not getting dehydrated.

* Be diligent about giving medication.

A necessary part of dog health care is being diligent about your dog’s medication timings. The vet will have prescribed pills or syrups for your dog to take at certain times of the day. Your pet may resist taking them, so make sure to coax them lovingly but firmly. Pull up one corner of your dog’s lower lip to create some space, then pour the liquid or insert the pill in. Use your other hand to pull up the dog’s head to ensure that the medication goes down. Now massage the dog’s throat gently to aid swallowing. Give the dog some water to ease down the pill, but not too much.

* Keep the dog clean.

If your dog has a skin infection or is suffering from bouts of vomiting or dysentery, then you will need to be extra vigilant to keep the dog clean after an ‘accident’. First move the dog to a dry location and clean it gently with antibacterial wipes and water. Next, wipe up the area of the mess and use a disinfectant to prevent the spread of germs.

How to care for a sick dog at home
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