Inevitably at some point, all pet owners will need to nurse their beloved pet back to health. Injuries and illnesses to both humans & animals are a fact of life. Even with the best preventative care in the world, problems can and do arise.
In an effort to assist you through these difficult times, I’ve put together some thoughts, ideas, and options that can ensure your pet’s recovery time is short, smooth and as stress-free as possible.
#1 – Monitor your pet’s hydration levels
When humans are unwell or recovering from injury, we are advised to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated – the same applies to pets. You can monitor your pet’s hydration throughout the day by pinching the skin on the back of their neck. If the skin immediately falls back into place, your pet is hydrated. However, if the skin stays in position, or is slow to fall down, this is a sign they are dehydrated. If you notice signs of dehydration, try adding water to their food; if this step does not bring about an improvement, your best course of action is a visit to your vet for IV fluids.
#2 – Do what you can to provide a quiet, peaceful environment
If at all possible, separate your pet off from the rest of the house and provide him or her with a quiet, peaceful environment to relax in during their recovery. An unused spare room is a perfect choice. If this is not possible, create a space for him or her somewhere within your home. Perhaps you can create a little cubby where they can retreat when they need a little alone time.
#3 – Let sleeping pets lie
While it can be disconcerting for you to see your pets sleep for long periods of time during recovery, allowing them to do so really is the best choice for their health. In particular, be cautious about waking a pet in order to administer medication. It’s preferable to let them sleep, then medicate when they’re awake and alert. If you have questions about this, please consult your vet
#4 – Consider supportive therapies
In addition to standard veterinary care, there are many ways you can support your pet’s health and well-being during their recovery. You can investigate supplements that are known to promote healing. Explore options such as Qigong energy healing for pets, or even consider adjusting your pet’s diet to broaden the range of nutrients they are eating on a daily basis. Supportive therapies can help to make a significant difference in the amount of recovery time. Supportive therapies help to keep your pet comfortable and at ease throughout the healing process.\
#5 – Avoid asking your vet for recovery timeframe estimates
Most pet owners will ask their vet how soon they can expect their pet to recover from their illness or injury. However, it is usually preferable to avoid doing so. Firm expectations of when your pet will be back on their feet and behaving as their usual self can cause a considerable amount of stress and worry if your pet is lagging behind the suggested time schedule. It’s preferable to try and take each day as it comes, noting improvements in your pet’s health and behavior, simply allowing the healing process to happen as it happens.
#6 – Use a trigger word for medication
If you have to medicate your pet daily during their recovery, they may start to run away from you every time you approach them, which can be absolutely heartbreaking. To avoid this, use a trigger word every time you approach them to administer medication. For example, you could say either “meds!” or “pill time!”. Your pet will learn that if you approach them without saying the trigger word, they’re not being medicated on this occasion. Then they can enjoy the fuss or food you are providing.
#7 – Talk to other ownersObviously, vets are an essential source of information when your pet is unwell or injured. It’s also helpful to join online forums and talk to other pet owners who have dealt with the same issues you are facing. Doing so will allow you to access practical advice and guidance (which you can then verify with your vet), while also providing you with much-needed emotional support.
When your beloved pet has been unwell or experienced an injury, the above ideas should foster a holistic approach to recovery that helps them get back to their usual self as soon as possible.
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