How To Make Your Pet More Comfortable With A Worm Infestation
Unfortunately, sick pets cannot directly tell us when they are not feeling well. They cannot tell us what hurts, how bad the pain is, or what they are experiencing. So how do you care for your pet if you notice that he or she is acting differently, and potentially has a worm infestation?
Get Advice From Your Veterinarian and Treat the Symptoms
If your dog or cat is behaving in a way that is out of the ordinary, it is time to consult your veterinarian for medical advice. If you suspect your pet may have a parasitic worm infestation, common symptoms to look out for include vomiting, diarrhea, pot belly, weight loss, abdominal pain, and lethargy.
Your vet will run a series of tests to check for worms in your animal’s intestines or heart, including a fecal test that looks at the feces, and a blood test or X-rays to check for heartworms. After determining the type of worm and severity of the infestation, the vet can prescribe anti-parasitic medications to treat the worms. If your pet has a hard time swallowing pills, you can try to hide the medication in pill pouches or peanut butter to make them more appetizing. Using a pill gun may also be helpful. If you’re interested in getting one, you can view some here!
Make A Comfortable Space For Your Pet
After it has been confirmed that your dog or cat does in fact have a worm infestation, make a comfortable bed in a quiet area of your home where your pet can recover peacefully. Choose an area that is easy for you to monitor, and try to pick a space with floors that are easy to clean in case of vomiting or an accident.
After you have selected the area for your animal to recover, add several cozy blankets, toys, and stuffed animals to make the space more inviting and comfortable. Having a soft, cushy pet bed also helps a ton (We’ve listed our top picks here!)Keep the lighting low, and limit visitors (including your children) from disturbing your pet.
Make sure that the comfortable area is isolated from other animals and pets to prevent the transmission of disease. You can section off the space by selecting a room with a door that closes off from other areas of the house or put up a gate that prevents other animals from crossing into the room.
Limit Exercise and Play Time
As much as your dog wants to run around and play, it is in his or her best interest to take it easy for a while during the recovery process. Monitor your dog or cat’s symptoms, and notice if they get better or worse with activity. Keep a log with detailed information about what activity your pet did and for how long.
It is very important to keep your pet hydrated, especially if they are allowed activity time. Diarrhea and vomiting can dehydrate an animal very quickly, so keep a water bowl near your pet’s comfortable space that you have created, especially if they participate in any activity. Remember, the more water that your pet drinks, the more they will need to go to the bathroom!
Feed A Bland Diet
Although it may not be your pet’s favorite meal, a bland diet will help an animal’s upset stomach and your pet will thank you later! A bland meal is soft, easily digestible, low in fat and fiber, and is made up of only one type of protein. This is to make sure that your pet is receiving all of the needed nutrition, while also ensuring that his or her gastrointestinal tract has a chance to recover and heal.
Many bland meals for both dogs and cats include cooked chicken and rice. You can also try pumpkin, which absorbs water from the digestive tract and slows down digestion. Probiotics can also be added to food to replace the good gut bacteria that was lost during vomiting and/or diarrhea. (You can check out our favorite ones here!) Your pet will be feeling much better and more comfortable after implementing a bland diet.
Give Lots of Love and Affection!
Some animals will try and mask the sign of illness as an instinct from the wild. In the wilderness, animals showing any signs of weakness are often targeted by predators or left behind by their pack.
Even if your dog or cat does not appear to be really sick, they probably do not feel well at all and could use some extra love from you!
Give your pet lots of attention and affection to make sure that they know that they are loved and cared for, especially in their time of need. Illness can also cause a great deal of stress in a pet, so snuggling up or petting your furry friend can help to ease anxiety and calm him or her down.
Tell us how you make your dog or cat feel more comfortable at home when they aren’t feeling well.