Pets suffer illnesses just as humans do. Serious ones require help from a veterinarian and sometimes hospitalization. However, many times you may find yourself in the position of caring for less serious illnesses or recovery periods at home. Here are important things to do.
1. Keep the Pet Hydrated
Whether the illness is respiratory or gastrointestinal, it is important your pet receives sufficient fluids. Offering canned wet food instead of dry kibble will help increase fluid intake. Keep fresh water in a bowl nearby. In some cases, you may need to administer fluids orally via an oral syringe or even subcutaneously. If this is the case, have a vet show you the proper way to perform these methods.
2. Keep the Pet Warm and Monitor Temperature
Unlike humans, a pet cannot put on extra clothing or throw a blanket around its shoulders. Your pet will rely on you to keep her comfortable. You may also need to keep track of the pet’s temperature. This is done via a rectal thermometer sized for pets. Lubricate the tip with Vaseline and insert it gently and not too deeply into the pet’s anus for the time required by the model of thermometer you are using. Keep in mind that a cat or dog’s normal temperature can be around 100 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit. If a pet’s temperature goes above this, call a veterinarian.
3. Keep the Pet in One Area of the Home
Sometimes sick pets will hide. This is an instinctive response. In the wild, it would be safest to be hidden from possible predators during an illness. Since the last thing you will want to have to do is search your home for your ill pet, close off closets and other rooms where she might try to hide.
4. Add Supplements to Food
It is a good idea to supplement your pet’s diet during this time. The professionals from Carter Veterinary Medical Center say depending on what he is keeping down, you can add pet vitamins to their food. These come in many forms and some gel or paste formulas also contain extra needed calories.
5. Create a Convenient Toilet Area
A sick animal may make messes even if she is normally well-trained to use the litter box or go outside. Never scold the pet for this. Instead lay down newspapers or absorbent pads or add a small litter box closer to the pet so that she won’t have far to go.
Pets require a lot of the same kind of care children need during an illness. This includes a lot of tender affection, and so remember to add in loving cuddles while following this to-do list.
Brionna Kennedy is native to the Pacific Northwest, growing up in Washington, then moving down to Oregon for college. She enjoys writing on fashion and business, but any subject will do, she loves to learn about new topics. When she isn’t writing, she lives for the outdoors. Oregon has been the perfect setting to indulge her love of kayaking, rock climbing, and hiking.