A sick dog is never a happy thing to have to deal with: as well as the potential disruption and mess to deal with, there’s also the pitiful spectacle of a sickly dog who doesn’t understand why they feel so bad and just wants your attention and love!
Today we’re taking a look at what you can do when your dog is sick, from getting them expert help, to how you can help your pet feel a little better as they recover.
Without the ability to talk, pets can’t directly tell you when they’re feeling sick – you need to look for the signs that they’re unwell or injured so you can help!
A dog being sick is a hard sign to miss, but others are more subtle: scratching or grooming at an area more so than usual can indicate discomfort, so keep a close eye on your dog. The most important thing you can do is look for deviations from their normal behaviour – a dog that’s normally very sociable avoiding contact or a dog that’s often private suddenly seeking you out for attention for example – these are powerful indications that your dog may be ill.
Deciding whether to go to the vet can be an anxiety inducing choice – similar to the dilemma when you yourself are unwell, and trying to judge if you need to make a doctor’s appointment. It can be scary for your dog too! If your dog can’t hold down food, is visibly wounded, or is sleeping and won’t stir you may have a serious issue to deal with. If your dog has been sick once, you don’t yet have reason to worry – that’s simply the cost of having a curious dog!
The really hard decisions are the edge cases – where you’re simply not sure if there’s an imminent danger, or simply an upset stomach that needs to work itself out.
In times like this, you need quick advice from people you trust. Other dog owners are a resource you shouldn’t discount: try to befriend people who are more experienced than you and can either soothe your worries with a quick phone call, or let you know if you need to take action.
Online vets are another option – they can diagnose and recommend treatment with a phone consultation and examining your pet via a videocall, allowing you get a better understanding of what could be wrong without having to drag your pet to a crowded and busy vet.