Sick pets require just as much love and care as a human. The main difference is that your cat or dog can’t tell you when they are in pain or they need something. It’s up to you to interpret their body language and respond as best you can. A very sick animal will need to be hospitalized and most vets keep pets in overnight (and for longer) when they have had surgery or are hooked up to a drip. If your dog or cat has been allowed home to recuperate, here are some tips for looking after them at home.

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Prepare a Quiet Place

A sick pet needs time to rest and recuperate. They should be kept separate from the main family, but not so far out of the way that they get zero stimulation. Where you place your pet will largely depend on how sick they are. A very sick pet needs to be kept quiet, so a side room is probably the best place to put their bed. A less sick dog or cat may prefer being close to you, so set up a recovery area near your desk or in a corner of the living room.

Cage Rest

It is sensible to use a crate for your sick dog or cat. Crates restrict movement and force the animal to rest. Most animals will adapt to a crate very well if they are sick, as all they want to do is sleep, but if you meet some resistance, it is better to compromise and use a pen or gate system instead. That way your pet does not feel hemmed in but is still unable to wander around freely.

Prepare the area with warm blankets and a washable bed. Washable microfiber and memory foam bedding are useful in case of toilet accidents. Sick pets may become incontinent for a while, so be prepared to clean up some mess. Try and pre-empt any mess with a litter tray (for cats) or puppy pads (for dogs).

Special Diet

Your pet might not feel like eating when he’s sick, so try and tempt him with extra special food. Cook some chicken and rice if he’s feeling delicate or buy tins of premium food if he normally eats dried food. Extra treats will encourage him to eat, which will help to restore his health. Use Wapiti pet supplements to give his immune system a much-needed boost.


Keep exercise to a minimum while your pet is recovering. Once he begins to feel better, you can reintroduce exercise slowly, but go at his speed. Never try and force your pet to do more than he’s ready for.

Finally, always pay close attention to your vet’s guidelines. He or she will give you advice about medication and other pertinent information, so write it down and follow it to the letter. It’s very important not to deviate from your vet’s instructions. If you are unsure about dosage instructions or you have any concerns that your pet’s condition is worsening in any way, ring your vet as a matter of urgency. They are there to help and most vets will do a home visit if you need one.