Treat a sick dog at home – Here’s how

5 Oct, 2022

Treat a sick dog at home – Here’s how

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Whether you are a petowner or a pet sitter you need to be mindful of the state of health of the dogs in your care. Here are some top tips on how to assess the health of the dog in your care and if appropriate how to treat a sick dog at home. However, we believe the best course of action is to take the dog to the vet as fast as possible, but this blog helps if you need to take immediate action at home.

How to assess and treat a sick dog at home

treat a sick dog
Finding a good local vet for your dog will help when they fall sick

Let’s be clear, assessing the health of the dog in your care and swiftly calling a vet is your first line of action when a dog appears unwell. There is usually no doubt when a dog is sick. But how do you treat a sick dog?

However, if you cannot reach a vet or the pet’s symptoms appear minor, some home remedies can help. Just make sure you choose an appropriate solution. Read on to learn the best care you can give, and you’ll learn what to do when your dog is feeling under the weather. 

1. Treating diarrhoea in dogs

Diarrhoea in dogs can be a symptom of an infection the pet probably got from feeding on leftovers. If you’ve also rapidly switched the dog to a different kind of diet, this can cause stomach upsets. It’s why dog parents are advised to make diet changes gradually and prevent their pets from eating food from the trash. 

Bowel irritation and vomiting are signs of stomach troubles, but they could also indicate other illnesses. If your dog cannot keep food down, try mixing one meal and giving it to the dog in small amounts. So long as diarrhoea doesn’t continue, increase the food quantity over the next couple of days. 

Alongside diarrhoea, some parents may have concerns like, “my dog is throwing up water.” In this case, liquids containing electrolytes, such as sports water, can supply dogs with fluid and energy. Your vet can guide you regarding the appropriate dosage of this liquid to give your dog.

2. Arthritis in dogs

It can hurt a lot seeing your once active companion struggle with the pain from arthritis. Getting the pet a soft bed and helping it move around will do wonders for its long-term relief though. 

You can help the dog deal with visible pain by massaging its muscles frequently. Human painkillers can be dangerous for dogs, so don’t administer that to your pet. Instead, get it a heater pad during cold seasons and talk to your vet about prescribing arthritis medication. Using CBD oils for pets as an anti-inflammatory agent works too.

3. Elderly dogs with long-term conditions

When nursing an older dog with a long-standing condition, monitor it carefully more than anything. You cannot afford to miss any changes in its condition if your dog has a significant illness. 

Sick dogs, especially those who need help standing, should always have access to clean water. You may be worried about how to feed a sick dog, Do not leave stale food lying around for when the dog is ready to eat. Instead, make small quantities of different meals available.

Proper grooming will lighten your pet’s mood, speeding up its recovery process, and also soothing it. 

4. Dogs with Sore Skin

You should prevent your dog from licking itself when it has sore skin. This makes the problem worse. You should also dress it in light clothing if its body is itching. If your dog appears to be scratching its feet more than usual, have it wear a pair of socks for temporary relief.

Other home remedies include bathing the dog in cool salt water or applying an ice pack to the affected area. These solutions are often effective for flea control too. 

Vitamin E oil has moisturizing components and is safe for your dog’s skin. Consider massaging a good quantity on the dog’s coat to treat dry spots. 

What to do to prevent your dog’s illness from worsening?

Treating your sick dog at home will be most effective if you are using the right remedies. 

Here are some ways to care for sick dogs:

1. Diet change

Introducing your dog to a bland diet to help it recover fully is often recommended. You can begin this a few days after the pet fully recovers. Protein sources like chicken and healthy starch are good food choices.

Maintain the dog’s routines to remove this as a cause for anxiety

2. Rest

Sick dogs should be allowed plenty of time to rest. Cut down its play and exercise time, especially if the dog has trouble walking or standing. You can take it outdoors for a bit of fresh air but make sure it stays calm.

3. Monitor

Pay more attention to your dog when it’s in poor health. Monitor its stool and urine output to see if the frequency changes beyond normal. Sick dogs may accidentally vomit or go to the toilet inside the house, but now isn’t the time to punish them for the behavior, as they can’t help it. 

Monitor the dog’s behaviour to ensure you notice any significant changes

When a dog falls sick while you are the dog sitter

As a petsitter, before you start your dogsit you should ensure you know the state of health of each pet. Ask the pet owner for the details of the local vet and learn how to get there should you need to treat a sick dog or take one of the pets. If there is pet insurance make sure you have the details should you need to. And most importantly ask about the health history of each pet.

It is most likely that the pets in your care will be well throughout your dogsitting or petsitting assignment. However, it is good to be prepared for any eventuality.

How to treat a sick dog at home – Conclusion

When you have to treat a sick dog at home you need to prepare for different points in the pet’s life. It is better to know what measures to take so your dog doesn’t remain in pain for long. Always consult your vet when dealing with major ailments or if home remedies prove ineffective.

Further reading about dogs, dog sitters, dogsitting with Housesitmatch

At we always try to share useful and informative blogs and practical advice with our members. Read on to find some helpful articles with useful tips for dog owners and dog sitters about dogsitting.

How to keep a dog health – 5 Top Tips

Comprehensive dog care guide for busy dog owners

Dogowner’s tips – In ground or wireless dog fence?

Top dogsitting tips for beginners

Dog sit – What is it and where can you go?

Dogsitters’ tips – Dog’s body language and how to read it

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