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How to Treat a Sick Dog at Home?

A set of hands stroking the head of a yellow labrador retriever

If your beloved pup isn’t feeling well, you may be tempted to take them to the vet immediately. Knowing the signs of a sick dog is essential so you can try home remedies before taking them to the vet. While it’s necessary to seek professional help in some situations, there are certain things you can do to treat a sick dog at home. Keep reading to know about the causes, signs, and an effective method to treat a sick dog at home.

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Causes of Sickness in Dogs

There are several possible causes of sickness in dogs. These can range from minor illnesses such as upper respiratory infections and allergies to more severe conditions such as kidney or liver disease. Some common causes of sickness in dogs include:

Infectious Diseases – These illnesses are caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites.

Internal Parasites – These parasites are in your dog’s digestive system, such as roundworms or hookworms.

Poisoning – This can be caused by ingesting something toxic, such as antifreeze, chocolate, or rodent poisons.

Allergies – They can cause skin, ear, or respiratory problems.

Stress – Just like humans, dogs can become stressed, and this can lead to a variety of health issues. Separation anxiety is one of the most common stress-related problems among canines.

Age-related Illnesses

As dogs age, they are more likely to suffer from cancer, arthritis, and diabetes.

Signs of a Sick Dog

Yellow Lab laying on the floor with an ice pack on its head

It’s essential to know the signs of a sick dog so that you can help them as quickly as possible. Some of the most common signs of a sick dog include the following:

  • Lack of Energy or Reduced Activity
  • Diarrhea or Vomiting
  • Coughing or Difficulty Breathing
  • Weight Loss or Increased Appetite
  • Excessive Thirst or Urination
  • Bad Breath or Red Gums
  • Increased Shedding
  • Unusual Lumps or Bumps
  • Changes in Behavior, Such as Aggression or Lethargy
  • Keep reading about an effective method to treat a sick dog at home.

Note: If you are unsure about your pup’s condition, it’s highly recommended to take your dog to the vet.

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How to Treat a Sick Dog at Home?

Yellow lab laying on hardwood floors

If your beloved pup is feeling a bit under the weather, you may wonder how to treat a sick dog at home. Fortunately, there are many ways to comfort and relieve a canine companion in distress without having to take them to the vet. If your dog is experiencing any health problem, whether a slight issue or something more serious, here are a few tips you can do to help them at home.

Know the Symptoms

The first step in any home treatment plan is identifying the symptoms of your dog’s illness or injury. Common signs of an illness can include lethargy, lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, sneezing, and changes in behavior. If you notice these symptoms, you must take your pup to the veterinarian for a checkup.

Provide Comfort

Yellow lab laying on a bed covered in an afghan

When treating a sick dog at home, comfort is vital. Make sure your pup is comfortable in a warm and quiet area, and keep a close eye on them. Please provide them with plenty of water and a soft blanket or bedding to help them relax. If your pup is feeling anxious or restless, it can help to provide them with a toy or treat to help them feel calm and at ease.

Keep Them Hydrated

Hydration is essential for any dog, especially one under the weather. Ensure your pup has plenty of fresh, clean water throughout the day. If they refuse to drink, you can add some broth or low-sodium chicken or beef bouillon to their water to make it more appealing.

Encourage Eating

White dog with a blurred bowl of dog food in the foreground

If your dog has lost their appetite, it is essential to try and encourage them to eat. Offer a bland diet of cooked white rice, boiled chicken, and pureed pumpkin. You can also try adding some warming broths or a little coconut oil to their food to make it more delicious.

Avoid Stress

Stress can make it difficult for your pup to recover from an illness. Try to keep things as calm and quiet as possible, and avoid any activities that could be too much for your dog. You should also avoid introducing any new people or animals into the home.

Monitor Progress

When caring for sick dogs at home, keeping a close eye on their progress and ensuring they are getting better is essential. A visit to the veterinarian is in order if your dog’s condition is neither improving nor stabilizing. Above all else, it is essential to be patient and gentle when caring for a sick dog. With the proper care and attention, your pup can fully recover and return to its usual self in no time.

What Can I Give My Dog When Sick?

Woman laying on the floor with a black Labrador retriever while petting its head

Many things can be given to sick dogs to help make them feel better. Here are some tips on what you can provide your pup:

Tummy Rubs

Given to dogs when they are sick, tummy rubs help stimulate the vomiting and diarrhea reflexes and can relieve their discomfort. Use a warm, moist cloth or towel to apply gentle pressure to the dog’s abdomen.


Close up of a beagle drinking from a bowl of water

Give your sick pup plenty of water to stay hydrated and reduce any possible illness complications. Ensure the water is cool and fresh, as hot beverages can worsen a dog’s condition.


A good chewable option for a sick pup is Pedigree Dentastix or Trixie Treats. These treats contain real meat and bones, providing him with vital nutrients and stimulation. If your pup cannot eat solid food, give them small bits of soft food several times daily.

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