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Taking Care of Your Sick Dog
Just like humans, dogs are subject to diseases and illnesses. If your dog gets sick, you may have to take him to the vet for treatment or even surgery. Your dog may have to stay at the clinic for a few days. When he comes home you will have to take care of your sick dog so that he completely recovers.
If your dog has been away from home for one or two days he will be excited and happy to be back again. Staying in the veterinarian clinic was most likely a frightening experience for your sick dog because of the strange people, smells and noises.
As excited as he may be, your dog instinctively knows that he needs rest. Try to provide a comfortable place where he can sleep. He needs to be undisturbed by people coming and going. If you have children, make sure they understand that the dog needs to rest and cannot play like he used to - at least until he fully recovers, anyway.
Give your sick dog a comfortable bed to sleep on. He should be warm and the bedding should be easily washable. A soft cushion covered with a sheet makes a good convalescent bed.
Your vet probably gave you instructions on how to care for your dog. You may have to give him medicine or change his bandages. Your dog may not understand where his source of discomfort is coming from and may try to bite you when you try to touch his wounds. You have to constantly reassure him with gentle movements and soft words that you are not going to hurt him.
Your dog needs plenty of fluid during his recovery period. If he gets dehydrated it can affect his kidneys. Make sure he has a bowl of fresh water at all times, and if he is not drinking by himself you will have to give him water from a bottle or turkey baster. You may have to raise his muzzle slightly so that the he can swallow. If you cannot get your sick dog to drink, call the vet. Your dog may have to get fluids intravenously.
Your dog has different nutritional requirements while he recovers from his sickness or injury. Food should be given in small amounts and can be slightly warmed to make it more palatable to your dog. You can supplement his food with vitamins and minerals - see what your veterinarian recommends.
You'll probably have to give your sick dog medicine, and this can be one of the hardest things in the world. Liquid medication can be squirted down his throat, but pills are more problematical. Hide them in his food and he is likely to spit them out. Pills have to be placed on the back of the tongue and doing this without losing a finger or two is a real art. If you keep his upper lip between your fingers and his teeth he will not bite down, and this allows you to put the pill on his tongue.
Some dogs are just plain stubborn and no amount of coaxing or fighting will make that medicine go down their throats. If your dog is one of these, you may need to take him to the vet. A bit annoying - but better than not getting the medication your dog needs to recover.
Jane K is a lifelong dog enthusiast with a family of four beloved dogs of her own which provide the inspiration for this site. To learn more about how to care for your own beloved dog - visit her at http://www.simply-dog-care-and-more.com
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