Your Dog is Sick: Don’t Panic

It’s always distressing when your pet is sick. Whether your dog is vomiting and has diarrhea or is obviously in pain, or is uncharacteristically reluctant to take their morning walk, when  something is clearly wrong, it’s easy to panic because the animal you love is relying on you for help.

Today we’re taking a look at some of the things you can do in a crisis so you can rise above that panic, and deliver the help your dog needs you to provide.

Upset Stomachs

If you own a dog then you know that an upset stomach is one of the most common health problems for them to encounter. For hardy creatures, they can have quite delicate digestive systems, and a bout of vomiting or diarrhea can be set off by eating dropped food, foraging on walks, or even simply changing the brand of kibble you feed them!

The good news is that in most cases, vomiting and diarrhea aren’t serious health risks, and will clear up relatively quickly on their own. Do keep alert for other worrying symptoms like loss of appetite, blood in the stool or vomit,or a prolonged illness. Otherwise, you don’t have to worry: feed them small, regular meals of easily digestible food like boiled chicken with rice, and most importantly ensure they have easy access to clean, fresh water. It’s all too easy for a sick dog to get dehydrated and that can be more serious than a simple bout of vomiting.

Injuries

As boisterous, playful, adventurous creatures, it’s an unfortunate truth that dogs can be prone to injury. For the most part the advice is simple: get your dog to the vet as soon as possible. 

It’s not always easy to tell what the problem is – your dog can’t tell you it’s in pain! Look for symptoms like limping, lack of energy, uncharacteristic aggression and of course visible cuts or marks.

If there’s a bleeding wound, you can try to apply a bandage – stopping the flow of blood is important to limit the risk until the experts can take over. If you don’t have a bandage to hand, use any clean cloth you can – wrap it tightly around the wound and secure it in place.

If you worry your dog may have a broken leg, don’t try and apply a splint. This can cause more pain and distress. Just try and ensure your dog is comfortable, and get them to an emergency vet’s appointment.

Most importantly, try to remain calm. An injured dog needs to keep as still as possible, to avoid causing more damage, and dogs often pick up on and mirror our emotions. If they pick up on your panic, they’ll find it harder to remain still. Think quickly, but speak slowly and calmly, and avoid anxious, jerky movements to help your dog relax and recover as soon as possible.