Caring for a Sick Dog: The Dos and Don’ts

As a dog owner, you never want to see your furry friend sick, but unfortunately, sometimes just like us humans, our dogs can get under the weather as well. While we wish we could read our pets’ minds and figure out exactly what would make them feel better, all we can do is support our pets as they get over whatever illness is ailing them. If you’re a new pet owner, caring for a sick dog can feel overwhelming. You might worry if you’re doing the right things, or making things worse. If you’ve got a sick dog at home, we’ve got a list of dos and don’ts for taking care of your beloved canine companion. Follow the steps below, and your dear dog’s tail will be back to wagging as usual in no time. 

What to Do When Caring for a Sick Dog

When you notice that your dog seems to be acting under the weather, there are a number of things that you can do to help it feel better: 

Go to the Vet

The best thing that you can do if you notice your dog starting to exhibit symptoms of illness is to take them to the vet to get checked out. Since dogs can’t talk, it’s hard to know exactly what’s happening to them when they’re in pain. Luckily, a vet can help by examining your dog and figuring out the root of the problem. Vets can also prescribe medication for your dog in the case that they need antibiotics or other medications to help them recover. Just be sure that you have a good pet insurance plan in place to assist with the costs of your vet visits, as different veterinary care can be quite costly depending on what kind of treatments and procedures are needed to cure your pup. 

Keep Them Hydrated

One of the most important things that you can do to help your sick dog is to keep them hydrated. You’ll want to make sure that you have a good set of dog bowls that you can replenish with food and water throughout the day to keep your dog well nourished. Occasionally, dogs might not want to eat as much when they’re sick. But it’s always a good idea to have your dog’s bowls stocked with food and water so they have the option to eat and drink when they’re able to. Dishwasher-safe dog bowls are great to have, especially when your dog is sick, as you can easily toss them in the dishwasher to clean between meals and after they recover from their illness. 

Make Sure They’re Taking All Their Medication

In addition to feeding and hydrating your pup, you’ll want to make sure that they stick to their medication schedule and take all the pills they need each day. Sometimes dogs can be tricky about taking pills. If your pup doesn’t want to take them, try hiding the pills in a spoonful of peanut butter in one of their dog bowls to see if they’ll take the bait. 

What Not to Do When Caring for a Sick Dog

There a few things that you should absolutely avoid doing when your dog is sick: 

Assume They’ll Get Better on Their Own

If you notice your dog acting slightly off, it’s never a good idea to ignore it. Take your dog to the vet as soon as symptoms arise to make sure that their condition isn’t something more serious. The longer you wait to take your dog to the vet, the worse their condition could potentially become. 

Change Up Their Schedule

Changing up your dog’s schedule isn’t a good idea when they’re under the weather. It can cause confusion, and also mess up their food, water, and medication intake for the day. In order to help your dog recover, stick to its normal schedule: take it out on walks when you normally would (unless their illness has affected their mobility), feed them at the appropriate times, and encourage them to play if they are able. 

Get Upset With Your Dog for Being Ill

While having a sick dog can be difficult, it’s important to never take your own frustrations out on your poor pooch. If your dog has an accident in the house, clean it up and focus on getting your dog better rather than disciplining it too harshly. Your dog’s mental health will likely be affected by its illness as well, so it’s important to do all you can to make sure it gets better, not worse. 

In Conclusion

When dealing with a sick dog, you want to make sure that you’re giving your dog the proper care that it needs. Be sure to take them to the vet to get their symptoms assessed, keep them well hydrated, and make sure they take all necessary medication. By doing these things, you ensure that your furry friend will be well on its way to a speedy recovery.