Taking care of a bedridden dog is no easy task. However, as long as you know what to do, things will feel much easier.
If your dog is sick and has to be confined to bed for an extended period, there are several ways that you can help him feel more comfortable and get stronger. Following these simple tips, you can ensure that your dog is as happy and healthy as possible during his recovery.
Stay on Top of Grooming
Grooming your dog is crucial for keeping them healthy and happy. You'll need to brush your dog with a dog brush at least once a week, but you can also bathe, clip nails, and clean the ears and paws. In addition to these tasks, it's good to examine your pet's body for any sores, lumps, or bumps that may indicate an underlying health issue like arthritis or cancer.
Clean Your Dog's Bedding Regularly
It's vital to keep your dog's bedding clean, but you don't want to irritate his skin with harsh chemicals or too much water. Instead, use a mild detergent and dry the bedding before putting it back in one of the dog cages. Do not use bleach on the bedding as this can be irritating for your dog's skin and eyes. Also, do not use fabric softener. It makes some materials less absorbent—you don't want your dog's bedding absorbing all of his body fluids. Cleaning the bed regularly is vital since your dog can’t move away from it.
Provide Medicine On Time
The most important thing about taking care of a bedridden dog is making sure that they receive its medications on schedule. Many dogs suffer from chronic pain because of illness or advanced age. This can make them miserable unless they can take meds as directed by their veterinarian.
Your vet might even prescribe dietary supplements if your dog has a problem with its weight, and that in turn is causing problems with its body.
Stay in Touch with Your Vet
As you care for your dog, it's important to remember that they are not just an extension of your family. They have needs and feelings too. Asking your vet if any medication or special food is needed can help keep him healthy during this time. Your vet can also recommend exercises to keep his muscles strong, so he doesn't get weak from lying in bed all day.
Vets know a lot about dogs but aren't always aware of everything that goes on in the house. It's good practice to ask them if there are any other things you should know about caring for your dog while they are bedridden.
Get a Special Bed for Support
If your dog is bedridden for a long time, it's necessary to make sure that they are as safe and comfortable as possible. First, you'll need to ensure that the bedding comes with a support system. This will ensure that the bedding doesn't sink in too far or shift while your dog is lying on it. The best kinds are those made with memory foam or latex materials, which aren't easily compressed.
You should also ensure that the bedding can be cleaned easily and often. If there's an accident on the sheets, you may want to change them out right away so as not to encourage bad behavior when cleaning up after accidents happen more often than expected. Also, think about how easy it would be for someone (like a visiting nurse) who might have trouble moving around independently.
Find Creative Ways to Help Your Dog Move
If your dog is bedridden, there are a few ways you can help them move.
A sling: This is a great option for smaller dogs. For larger dogs, it may be harder to do this safely—but if you have someone to help, it's worth trying.
A wheelchair: If your dog doesn't mind being in one and doesn't need much mobility outside of their dog beds, this could be an ideal solution for them. You'll want to make sure that the wheelchair fits your pet properly so that they're safe and comfortable during transport.
A walker: Walkers are especially useful for older pets who need some support but aren't immobile or weak enough for wheelchairs yet. The walker attaches directly onto their front paws and allows them to transfer weight from their hind legs onto the platform at all times. This allows them far more stability than they would have otherwise had while getting around on all fours alone.
Give Your Dog Snacks and Treats
Ensure your dog has some treats and snacks. No matter how well you take care of your dog, he will still want to eat. Some dogs may be able to eat regular kibble or dog food. If so, make sure that it is small enough for them to swallow easily (and if not, try putting a few pieces in their mouth at once). However, if they have difficulty eating on their own, feeding them can be more challenging. Try the Milk-Bone Dog Treats, as dogs usually can’t resist the taste of these treats.
Pay Attention to the Room Temperature
When your dog is bedridden, he won't be able to move around and regulate his own body temperature. This means you'll have to do the work for him. The first step is to make sure the room where your dog spends most of his time—likely his bedroom or living room—is comfortable.
You want it neither too hot nor too cold. The air conditioning unit should be turned off if there are other ways to keep the temperature comfortable in that room, such as a fan or windows open during warm months and closed during cold ones. You also want to try and keep consistent temperatures throughout the seasons.
Ensure Your Dog is Getting Proper Nutrition
Ensure your dog is getting the right calories and nutrients to maintain a healthy weight and avoid nutritional deficiencies. You can find out how many calories your dog needs each day by checking with your vet.
You may need to increase the amount of food you give your dog if he’s bedridden for an extended period, but don’t overdo it. If you feed them too much, their body will be forced to store extra fat rather than burn it off as fuel during exercise, making it more difficult for them to get up.
The Hill’s Science Diet Dog Food and the Royal Canin Dog Food are ideal options to ensure proper nutrition for your dog.
Always Check for Fleas
While it’s important to keep your bedridden dog clean, it’s equally important to check for fleas. Fleas can cause anemia and tapeworm infestation in dogs, as well as allergic reactions in both people and pets.
Check for fleas by looking at the skin around your dog's head, neck, and shoulders. If you see any brown bugs crawling on your pet's skin or around their hair follicles, they're likely fleas—and they need to be removed immediately.
Use the Seresto Flea Collar for dogs to keep your dog safe from fleas. This dog collar will keep fleas at bay, but in case the fleas have already infested your dog’s fur, you need to opt for flea treatment for dogs.
Caring for a bedridden dog is hard, and no one can deny that. However, sticking to these tips will surely make it easier for you and more comfortable for your dog.