Caring for a chronically ill dog: tips to make life easier for you and your furry friend

Caring for a pet who is always sick can be a huge burden on any pet parent. Any pet parent who has cared for a dog or cat that is chronically ill will tell you that helping their furry-friends was incredibly rewarding but also incredibly draining and even lonely at some times. 

We’re all already really stressed from trying to “adult” in our everyday life and fast-paced society. The addition of seeing your furry-friend suffering and caring for them may be just enough to put you over the edge. 

A chronically sick dog requires more from their human than a healthy pet would in terms of time, attention, money, patience, and even mental and emotional space. What’s more, besides having to invest more of everything when caring for a really sick four-legged, pet parents also often feel alone and unsupported, especially if they are the only owner of the pet. 

Yet, while you may not have said it out loud when you took your dog home for the first time, you’ve promised them you’d be there for better or worse, in sickness and health. And we assure you that your dog promised you the same thing since the first time you made their tail wag. 

So, while caring for your chronically ill dog can be really overwhelming, you owe them that for every time they made you laugh and smile at their silly tricks. Yet, it doesn’t have to be that difficult. We have a few tips on how to make life easier for you and your furry friend in this situation. 

chronically ill dog

Talk to your dog’s doctor

The first thing you need to do when you find out about your dog’s medical problem is to discuss it with your veterinarian. There’s no better person to tell you how to care for your furry-friend than their doctor, who knows their medical history and how serious is their current health issue. 

It’s a good idea to take notes on how to care for your dog to help them recover or keep the problem under control. If you feel like you are overwhelmed by the news you’ve just found out, ask the doctor to schedule a meeting in which you can discuss all these things and ask a friend or family member to come with you to help you remember what the vet tells you. 

Research your pet’s illness

Your veterinarian will explain pretty much everything about the sickness your dog has, but it’s unlikely that the doctor also knows exactly how a full day with a sick dog in the house goes. But you know who can give you advice on this? Other pet parents who have been through this with their dogs. 

So, get online and research your dog’s illness on blogs and forums of other pet owners that have been through this situation before. The more educated you are on how to care for your furry friend properly, the easier it will be both for you and them.

Pay attention to changes in the behavior

If you know your dog’s medical issue, the doctor likely told you any changes in the behavior you should pay attention to in case the problem worsens. 

It is twice harder with pets to know when they are feeling sick since they can’t simply tell you what’s hurting them. So, the only way to know whether your dog’s medical condition is getting better or worse is to analyze their behavior

Maybe you’ll notice that your dog doesn’t eat that much anymore, or maybe he is sleeping more than usual. Or another sign may be that your furry friend may be feeling pain when you pet them. Either way, if you notice something unusual in your dog’s behavior, make sure that you discuss it with your veterinarian to find out what’s wrong. 

Make adjustments in your home environment

If your dog is suffering from a medical condition that makes it difficult for him to function in the way he normally does, making some adjustments to your home can help them get on with everyday life easier. For example, if your dog can no longer jump, it may be difficult for him to jump on the bed. You can help him by installing some pet stairs.

If your furry friend can’t climb stairs anymore, you can help them with an outdoor or an indoor ramp. Also, you need to leave water and food in more rooms so that your dog doesn’t have to walk a lot or make efforts to get to his bowls. 

Figure out medical costs

Like it or now, you also need to talk about money when caring for a chronically ill pet because medical costs can be a real burden. 

Can you afford to pay for your dog’s treatment? Or, can you afford to pay for surgical intervention if the doctor recommends it to help your dog get better? If the answer is “no” to both of the questions, don’t worry, you can figure things out. 

For example, you can ask your friends and family to lend you some money to help your dog. Or, if your dog has an emergency and you need money right away, you can apply for payday loans Canada, which is the type of loan that gives you the money the same day you apply for it and doesn’t care if you have bad credit. 

You’d think that money is not important and the only thing that matters is for your dog to be healthy, and that’s true. But money for medical treatment does matter. 

Let them go

As terrible as it may sound, if your dog is in constant pain and suffering, and there’s no cure for their sickness, it may be best to end their suffering and let them go. Discuss with your veterinarian whether or not there is any hope for your dog to recover and whether euthanasia is the only solution to put an end to your pet’s pain and suffering. 


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