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Sick Dog? How To Cope When Your Dog Is Unwell

When your pet dog becomes unwell, it can be extremely difficult to cope with. You often don’t realise just how much you care for them until they become poorly. It’s horrible seeing your best friend in pain and discomfort. For a lot of people, their dogs are like their children. When they get sick it can be heartbreaking. No one wants to see any animal suffer, but it is part of being a pet owner. You need to be there for your dog when they become unwell.

One of the best things you can do for your dog if they are unwell is to try and stay strong for them. This is obviously easier said than done, but you can genuinely help them if you stay more positive. Dogs pick up on our emotions, moods and body language. They know when you are upset and this can make them feel more distressed.

Try not to overemphasise the fact that they are ill. It’s important to carry on your usual routine and to try not to give them too much attention. Saying ‘oh my poor baby’ and constantly stroking and fussing over them will make them feel sorry for themselves. You want them to just carry on as normal and think nothing is wrong, this will help them to recover quicker. It’s obviously OK to give your dog a little TLC, just try to to overdo it.

If you are feeling a little upset and need to unleash some emotion then try and do it away from your dog if possible. They will notice how upset you are and this could stress them out and worry them. Don’t beat yourself up about not being able to help them, all you can do is make sure they get the right care and medical attention from the vet.

You may have to make some difficult decisions as to what sort of treatment they get. Don’t be too hard on yourself about the decisions you make. You have your dog’s best interests at heart so whatever decision you make will be the right one. Lean on your partner, friends and family for support and advice on what to do. But remember, at the end of the day, it’s your dog, so you know what is best for them.

When visiting your vet try and write down what they say. When you are emotional it’s hard to remember everything and you may forget some important facts. Write down all the possible options for treatment and what doses you should be giving your dog. Then you can take all the information home and evaluate it properly when your head's a bit clearer.

When your dog is at home keep a close eye on them to monitor their behaviour. If you notice any sudden changes or symptoms getting worse take them back to the vet immediately. While you are looking after them at home the main thing is to make sure they are comfortable. Provide them with a warm, comfy bed to snuggle up in and check that they have access to fresh water at all times.


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