Love Overcomes All: 8 Tips for Living with a Pet That's Chronologically Il

The love a human shows for their pet has no boundaries. When you decide to welcome a dog, cat or another small domesticated animal into your home, you understand it is for life. It's like a marriage, till death do you part. Unfortunately, animals do not live as long as humans, and they can suffer some painful chronic illnesses before their time is up.

Ensuring your pet is taken care of, no matter what your financial circumstances are, is one way to show you love them. Signing up for pet insurance that covers pre existing conditions will be helpful no matter how long or how ill your pet becomes.

Living with a pet that is chronically ill is not easy, however, it can be done. Both you and your pet will be much happier if you know what to expect and how to take care of various incidents as they arise.

Here are 8 tips for living with a chronically ill pet:

1. Find The Best Care
Once you know what is wrong with your animal, you can seek out the care of a specialist. Locate and maintain a good relationship with the best veterinarian in your area who specializes in your pet's illness.

You may not "click" with the first vet you see, but don't give up. When you are comfortable with your pet's doctor, your pet will be more relaxed and open to sometimes painful treatments.

2. Do Your Own Research
When you discover your four-legged family member is ill, you need to do some of your own research. Once the diagnosis is confirmed by a professional, ask them where you can find more information. If your pet has an illness that is widely known, there is most likely a website dedicated to the care of animals with that particular illness. Find tips and tricks for keeping your pet safe, comfortable and maintaining your sanity during a difficult time.

3. Include All Family Members in The Pets Care
If you and your pet live alone, you may need some help with different treatments. If you have to bring your animal to the vet's office for treatments, but you could also enlist the help of a good friend or neighbor.  

Even the youngest member of the family can help care for an ill pet. A small child may not be able to hold a large dog down, but they could hold their paw. Providing love and kind, soft words will also go a long way towards helping a pet remain calm during treatments like shots or giving the pills.

Older children can hold a dog or cat while the medication is administered. Everyone in the family can take turns brushing, bathing, walking, and simply sitting with an ill pet.

4. Make Adjustments For Their Living Accommodations
When your pet is in pain, it is helpful to make adjustments to their living space. If you can, keep your dog or cat on one level of your house. If they must go up or down stairs, carry them or use a towel as a sling to take pressure off their joints and muscles.

Use specially made pet stairs that allow your animal to get up on the couch or bed without your assistance. You may want to cover the small set of steps with a soft fabric to make sure they are more comfortable using them.

Give them a soft place to rest on the floor if getting up on the couch or bed is difficult. Use soft comforters and blankets and place them in an area where they will be warm and not bothered by doors, traffic, or other animals.

5. Make Adjustments When Feeding
If your pet can still feed themselves, adjust the height of their food bowls. This will take pressure off their neck and if they have trouble swallowing, will make it easier.

If your pet needs assistance eating and drinking, use baby bottles for the best control of their water and food intake. You may need to track or measure how much they eat and drink and baby bottles have measurements printed on them already.

6. Managing Pain
Depending on the chronic illness your dog or cat suffers from, you should be able to manage their pain. Like humans, there are a number of medications to help with pain.

It may be difficult at first, but giving your pet a pill or a shot is going to help them. Dogs can be trained to take a pill hidden in a scoop of peanut butter. Just be sure to read the ingredients before using certain brands. Xylitol, a sweetener, is extremely toxic to dogs. You can also purchase a pill shooter that can launch a pill down your dog's throat.

Many cats are put on a variety of shots due to different illnesses. Shots are easy to administer in the fatty part of a leg, or you may be told to give them under the skin. Either way, it is typically a quick and easy process.

7. Take Care of Yourself
It may seem counterintuitive, but you will need to take time for yourself. Taking care of a chronically ill pet will take its toll on you. Take time to get out and do something fun. Go to the movies, go shopping, go out to dinner. Leaving the house will help to alleviate tension and anxiety. When you return, your pet will appreciate your uplifted mood.

8. Preparing For The End
It is not something anyone likes to think about, but there will be a time when your pet will need you to make a decision for them. This is the hardest, yet the most loving thing we can do for them. Helping a pet cross The Rainbow Bridge is an act of love.  

Talk with your veterinarian about when to expect the end of their life. Prepare for that time, but remember to live each moment and be happy they are in your life. Give them extra love and attention and know they will always be a part of your heart.   

No comments