Caring for a Dog When It’s Sick

It’s never a good day when your dog is sick. Whether it’s injured, recuperating from an operation or if your dog keeps vomiting and has diarrhea, it means distress for your dog and stress and worry for you.

Today we’re going to take a look at what you can do to help – how you can keep your dog happy and comfortable while it recovers, so that recovery will be faster and less distressing for you both.


If your dog is under the weather, then it might be worth thinking about some changes to their environment, to help them feel more comfortable and happy.

They’ll likely have less energy than usual so if you need to, move their food and water close to where they’re resting. It’s important for a sick or injured dog to keep nourished and hydrated, so make it easy for them!

Some health problems can make your dog less mobile – from low energy to pain from wounds or stitches. Even if they don’t feel impaired in the wake of an operation it could tear their stitches if they’re too active! If your dog is used to resting on the sofa or an armchair, then you’ll need to make some changes so they don’t have to jump up a level. Bring their bed, blankets or cushions down to floor level, and make sure you have comforting, familiar toys near their sickbed too. If you bring everything they need to ground level, with them, it’ll help them rest and heal more quickly.

Keeping Clean

If your dog is suffering an upset stomach you’re going to need to think about their cleanliness. It’ll be upsetting for them if diarrhea and vomit is left to linger where they’re trying to rest and recover, so unfortunately you’ll need to be on the alert with cleaning products.

Many pet owners favour an enzyme based cleaner – these use biological enzymes to break down the molecules that cause stains and odours, for a more thorough clean up. Keeping the area regularly cleaned will mean both you and your dog are both happier.


If your dog is sick or injured, they’re going to need a bit more comfort and reassurance than usual. Make sure they have familiar toys and blankets around – they might not want to play but familiar smells can help to keep your dog calm until things are more normal. One of the main things your dog derives comfort from is you!

If you’re at home with your dog, then try and find ways to be with it when it’s sick. Even if it’s too sick to play like normal, moving your laptop into the room where the dog is resting (or moving the dog’s sick bed into your workroom!) will provide your dog with the reassuring background murmur of your presence, and help it rest while it needs to.

Talen Lee
the authorTalen Lee