Once your dog comes home from the animal hospital, he will be very tired and he will need a warm, quiet, comfortable place in the house to recover. Below are 9 quick tips to help you prepare for the recovery process at home.
1. Have comfortable blankets on hand
Warm, soft blankets will make your dog feel comfortable and warm at home. We recommend getting blankets that are machine washable, like these ones, for easy cleaning once your pup has fully recovered. Parvo decreases the strength of the immune system and makes it difficult for a dog to regulate his own body temperature. Blankets can help keep your dog’s body temperature where it is supposed to be, while also providing comfort.
2. Favorite toys/items
Your dog may be scared or have anxiety after coming back from the animal hospital. Try offering your dog her favorite toys or items next to her to make her feel more comfortable with her own things. If it’s not a toy, maybe it’s their favorite pillow, blanket, or stuffed animal. If you’re thinking about getting your pup a new toy, you can check out our top picks here!
3. Create a “nest” in a calm, quiet area of the house
Create a comfortable “nest” for your dog that is all set up and ready for her when she gets back from the vet. This can be composed of a dog bed, blankets, stuffed animals, etc. The space you create should be cozy and warm, and away from the main parts of the house. Your dog will be drinking a lot of water to stay hydrated, so you may want the nest to be near a door so that she can easily go outside to go to the bathroom.
4. Water bowl near the bed
It is important to keep your dog hydrated, as she can become dehydrated in just a few short hours if she is vomiting and experiencing frequent diarrhea. Keep her water bowl close to her dog bed so she doesn’t have to go far to get a drink of water. If your dog will not drink water, try offering a few ice cubes for her to lick or chew on. Remember, the more water your dog is drinking, the more she will need to be taken out to go to the bathroom.
5. Offer easy and bland food to eat
Your dog will not be able to eat her regular dog food while she is recovering from Parvo. Instead, offer her bland food such as cooked chicken and rice for easy digestion.
6. Lots of love from you
This is one of the most important tips! Your dog is going to be very ill and will be feeling pretty down. Give your dog extra love and affection! Physical affection such as pets or hugs can all be comforting, just be sure to avoid sensitive areas if any.
7. Warm baths sitting down
It is important to keep your dog clean, especially if she has frequent diarrhea and soils herself. Parvovirus weakens the immune system, so your dog may not be able to stand on her own for a bath. Support her weight or encourage her to sit down while you rinse her with warm water. Make sure you test the water temperature first, as dogs experiencing Parvo cannot regulate their own body temperatures.
8. Avoid unfamiliar people
When your pup comes home, try to keep strangers and unfamiliar people away from your dog. Unknown faces and smells can cause anxiety, especially if she feels threatened in her own space.
9. Soothe their anxiety and keep yourself calm
Your dog will likely have still have accidents due to the frequent and severe diarrhea and vomiting that is a result of parvovirus. Do not get mad at your puppy if she has an accident, but rather try to calm her anxiety and make sure that she knows that it is ok. Your calm demeanor and relaxed attitude will make your dog feel more relaxed and comfortable. Additionally, if you have children, make sure to encourage them to be calm around your dog as well. The energy needs to be relaxing in order for your dog to heal.
If you have any other tips or suggestions of things that worked for you, please let us know!