Home Sweet Bone: Creating a Space for Your Sick Pet
Home is where the heart is, and when you have a pet who is having health issues, nothing is more true. While your pet is working hard to get well, there are some simple things that you can do to make her feel at home.
Creating the perfect space for your sick pet can be an intimidating task, but with some careful consideration you are sure to create an environment that your furry friend will love.
Just as with people who are battling an illness, it is essential that your pet has a safe, comfortable place to rest. Think of the following when creating a sleeping place for your sick pet.
Location, location, location – Take some time to notice where your pet prefers to sleep. Is it in the middle of the living room? Tucked away in a quiet corner? Does she prefer peace and quiet or to keep an eye on the action? Taking inventory of these types of observations can give you a clue as to what type of sleeping arrangements are best.
Size matters – Too large of a bed will make Fluffy feel like she is swimming, while too small of a resting spot can make Fido feel unwelcome. Smaller breeds tend to prefer small nest-like beds or cuddle caves. Larger breeds often prefer to spread out a bit. Your pet’s bed should be just large enough for her to fully stretch.
Choosing a material – It’s also important to think about what a bed is filled with. Orthopedic and foam fillings tend to feel best on weary bones, but pets who prefer cool environments may enjoy a cot-like bed that allows airflow. Many sick pets seek warmth and prefer a bed with some type of warming quality.
It is also wise to choose a bed that can be washed, or at least has a washable cover. Sick pets often have increased incidences of soiling themselves or other accidents, and washable bedding is essential for cleanliness. If your pet prefers to lie on your bed or the couch, putting down a blanket or towel can help.
Making Your Home a Great Space for Your Sick Pet
When your pet is ill, there are certainly other things that you can do in order to make her life a little easier. Consider:
- Eliminating or decreasing your pet’s need to navigate stairs, as these can be difficult when weak or otherwise compromised
- Using a well-fitted harness, such as a Help Em Up Harness, to aid sick pets in trekking more difficult terrain
- Using area rugs, bulk rolled yoga matting, or toe grips to help your pet on slippery surfaces
- Removing, repositioning, or providing protection against potentially hazardous obstacles, like table corners, from your pet’s space
- Keeping your pet’s necessities, such as the food and water bowls, nearby so that minimal effort is required to get to them
- Making potty areas more accessible by moving them or creating easier access
- Using portable stairs or ramps
Caring for a sick pet can be difficult, but making your home a safe space can make all the difference in the world. Being sure that your home is set up for your pet to convalesce can make your pet feel better and make your task of caring for her easier. Little changes can have a huge impact on quality of life, which is our focus here at Veterinary Oncology Services and Research Center.