What to Feed a Sick Dog
Everyone gets sick at one time or another and having someone to look after you, look after you, and guide you in the correct direction in this time of need can make all the difference in getting you back to your normal health and strength. Dogs are no exception to this rule and looking after and caring for your dog can make all the difference to their recovery.
When your dog’s tummy is upset, he can’t tell us what’s wrong. When lethargy and “accidents” tell us there’s an upset, there are general rules to follow when feeding a sick dog. Just like children, they have systems that are smaller than those of adult humans, tend to recover quickly and need to start eating again to replace lost water and nutrients. However, if the upsets are violent or last more than a few days, it’s time to take your friend to the doctor.
But what happens if your dog has lost their appetite and you know they need some sort of food inside them before they run into more illness? Well this is a very common situation to be in with an ill dog so there are a few ideas that you might want to try and they might shorten your dogs suffering and help keep it bearable for the time being.
How to prevent and treat dehydration
If your dog is showing the above signs of dehydration, it’s time to take their condition seriously. Many people offer their dehydrated dogs unflavored Pedialyte, which is a child’s electrolyte drink. Even if your dog is drinking water, it sometimes isn’t enough, and Pedialyte will help replace electrolytes they may have lost from vomiting. Other dog-friendly products like Rebound may also help.
If they won’t drink it on their own, you may wish to use a feeding syringe (needle-less) to feed them the Pedialyte. Put the syringe into the side of the mouth, between the cheek and gums, and go slowly to prevent your dog from choking or breathing in the liquid. Be careful, take it slowly, and keep them calm. Really sick dogs sometimes don’t have the greatest gag reflex, and aspiraton of these liquids can be dangerous.
How much should you give? A dose to help a dog maintain hydration should be at least 15 mL per pound of body weight per day. This can turn out to be quite a bit of fluid to deliver with a syringe, so you may want to divide the dose into 4 a day.
You can also simply take your dog to the vet, where they’ll be able to treat dehydrated dogs by delivering fluids under the skin.
If this works then you should build the tastes up slowly from bland food to normal stronger tasting foods but always keeping to what your dog is comfortable with, if you do too much too soon then your dog will become ill again so take it slowly.
If this doesn’t work then try to feed them sufficient amounts of water if nothing else. When a dog is unwell they may have other symptoms like diarrhea which will cause them to become dehydrated easily and set them up for more misery so try to maintain good hydration levels, which in turn will maintain your dog’s happiness.
If all else fails and nothing seems to be working then you should contact your vet and seek advice there, if you do not then you risk your dogs health and bodyweight deteriorating and there may be other difficulties to overcome before your dog will start to become better.