THE EXPERTS’ ADVICE: HELPING YOUR DOG RECOVER FROM ILLNESS

You’ll have heard that we’ve added to our Natural Health Support range. New Healthy Heart, designed to support your dog’s heart muscle function and help them thrive, and Recovery & Revive – to help your dog recover from illness. Sara, our Nutritionist, has formulated each recipe to address a specific health issue, and Christian, the Vet, has given them the seal of approval based on what’s best for your dog’s health.

When our dogs fall ill or need to undergo a period of recovery, it can be a stressful and emotional time for both pet and pet parent. Just like humans, dogs need proper care and attention to recover from illness or injury and regain their strength. In our final article from the series, our experts share effective ways to help your dog recover from illness comfortably.

 

A vet examines a dog in his office

Follow your Vet’s Advice

If unfortunately your dog has required a Vet’s attention, whether they have had surgery or an upset stomach, the first step in helping your dog recover is to follow your Vet’s advice. A professional opinion is vital to determine the appropriate treatment and care plan for your dog’s specific condition.

Follow the Vet’s instructions regarding medication, diet, exercise, and any additional treatment required. Below are some of the tips your Vet may advise:

chow dog lying on bed in cosy corner

Provide a Comfortable Environment

Creating a comfortable and peaceful environment for your dog is essential during the recovery period. Ensure your dog has a warm, cozy bed in a quiet area where they can rest undisturbed. Keep their surroundings clean and free from any potential hazards.

Your dog may have come home with a Vet collar or cone to prevent them from licking their wounds. Ensure you keep this on if recommended by your Vet. Your dog may find it annoying and uncomfortable, but it’s really important to ensure your dog doesn’t disturb the affected area and risk infection. You may consider a recovery suit instead if this is more comfortable or less distressing for your dog.

Administer Medication as Prescribed

If your dog has been prescribed medication, make sure you administer it as instructed by the Vet. Stick to the prescribed dosage and complete the full course of treatment, even if your dog appears to be feeling better. Administering medications to dogs can be a difficult task but ensure you persevere!

“After surgery a dog’s appetite may be reduced for a few days. Ideally the medication can be given directly into their mouth. If not, giving it disguised in a high value treat such as cheese or a bit of ham can help! Giving medication in treats helps to avoid food aversion where they associate the food with the medication and then turn their nose up at their dinner.”

Christian, the Vet

dog recover from illness

Encourage Rest and Limit Activity

Rest is crucial for a speedy recovery. Encourage your dog to rest and limit their physical activities. Avoid strenuous exercise and playtime until your dog has fully recovered and received clearance from the Vet. Once your dog starts feeling better, introduce gentle exercises such as short walks to help regain strength and mobility. Gradually increase the duration and intensity of exercise as your dog improves.

Sonny waiting patiently for butchers dog food

Monitor Food and Water Intake

During recovery, pay close attention to your dog’s appetite and water consumption. Offer small, easily digestible meals and fresh water throughout the day. If your dog is struggling to eat, they may find it easier or more comfortable to eat soft texture wet food. Especially if it has been warmed or mixed with water to form a soft paté-like texture. If your dog is reluctant to eat or drink, consult your Vet for guidance.

“The length of time it takes for a dog to get its appetite back depends on the procedure, the level of pain or discomfort, and the individual. Labradors often have a good appetite pretty much straight away after surgery, but a Yorkshire Terrier may take a day or so to get their normal appetite back. Your pet should be eating reasonably well within 24 hours of surgery. If not, it’s worth checking with your Vet in case they want to examine them to make sure everything is OK.”

Christian, the Vet

recovery and revive category image

Provide Proper Nutrition:

Offer a well-balanced diet that meets your dog’s nutritional needs, especially during the recovery phase. High-quality dog food that supports their immune system and digestive health can be beneficial.

Our Recovery & Revive recipe is Vet Recommended and carefully created by our Nutritionist to help your dog recover from illness. It has exactly the right amount of supportive ingredients to rebalance gut bacteria and rebuild natural immune defences, to get your dog back on track.

This 100% complete & balanced recovery recipe is made with just chicken and rice making it easier to digest, while the white rice provides the quick release energy needed to help boost your dog’s recovery. The all-important beta glucans help to strengthen their natural immune system, prebiotic MOS & FOS support the growth of healthy gut bacteria and paraprobiotics help to rebalance intestinal flora and natural immune defences. The texture of this recipe is designed to be softer to make it easier for your dog to eat, but also has a flavour they will love!

Ingredients Dictionary with Sara:

Beta glucans: specific fibres extracted from certain yeast cell walls and work by activating and optimising the immune response.

Prebiotics: are used to help encourage the growth of “good” gut bacteria. Prebiotic MOS work by binding pathogens, whilst prebiotic FOS is a complex fibre which acts as a food source for “good” gut bacteria.

Paraprobiotics: are inactivated or ‘ghost’ probiotics. They help improve gut barrier function, modulate immune function and exhibit anti-inflammatory effects.

Intestinal flora: are a collection of microorganisms, including bacteria, yeasts, and viruses, that are naturally present within the digestive tract. They play a fundamental role in digestion and immune function. The important thing is that a healthy gut contains a balanced intestinal flora which work in harmony with each other.

black pug looking unwell on bed

Causes and symptoms of dog sickness

Vomiting and diarrhoea can be common problems for dogs, who are natural scavengers and will often eat things they shouldn’t, whether it be from outside in the garden or on a walk, or within the home. You can find which toxic foods to look out for in our blog here. It can be nothing to worry about or it can be a sign of more serious problems.

If your dog has been sick once and then seems back to normal it isn’t necessary to take them to the Vet [1]. Though you should ensure they have plenty of fresh water and keep an eye on them for the rest of the day. However, you should seek advice from your Vet if your dog vomits repeatedly and their tummy looks bloated, or if they develop any other symptoms [1]. Diarrhoea is another common symptom in dogs that can be caused by eating leftovers or things they shouldn’t, changing diet too quickly or other illness [2]. Our Recovery & Revive recipe can be used to help settle their stomach after an upset caused by sickness or diarrhoea and help your dog recover from illness.

“Our dogs often consume the same diet every day resulting in our dog’s gut microbiota adapting to digesting one diet. Switching foods gradually allows their digestive system to adapt to the change and minimise the occurrence of digestive upset.”

Sara, our Nutritionist

Developed by Nutritionists, Vet Recommended: Sara, our Nutritionist, and Christian, the Vet

Meet The Experts

Sara, our Nutritionist, has 13 years’ experience as a Pet Nutritionist and a degree in Animal Science. Not to mention, she’s a proud pet parent to Mae the Cocker Spaniel.

Christian has been a Vet for over 30 years and has worked alongside the RSPCA and Police. He’s, of course, a fellow dog lover; his four-legged friend is a Labrador named Willow.

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