Can’t Get to the Vet? How to Care for Your Dog at Home


To care for these afflictions at home, first look for any predisposing causes, such as exposure to trash, change in diet, or plants your dog may be eating, and eliminate those causes. If the cause is unknown, try withholding food and water for four to six hours. Oftentimes, the stomach lining may be very irritated. Give the stomach some time to rest. If the vomiting or diarrhea stops, you can give small amounts of water and gradually offer a bland diet.

You can also try over-the-counter medications such as Pepcid AC, Pepto-Bismol or Kaopectate (for dogs only!), but be sure to consult with your vet first. And, of course, if the vomiting and/or diarrhea continue or worsen, if you note blood in the vomit or feces, or if other symptoms appear, call your veterinarian ASAP.

Caring for Lacerations

Laceration can be caused by a variety of traumatic events. The most common causes of lacerations in dogs include getting cut on glass or sharp objects in the yard (especially rough wires around fencing), jumping through a glass window, bite wounds, and injuries that break the skin as a result of being hit by a car.

Specific treatment of a laceration depends on the degree and depth of injury, in addition to associated or secondary injuries. The best thing to do is to take your dog to your veterinarian to help you determine the extent of the injury, but if you cannot take your dog to your veterinarian, you can carefully evaluate your dog’s wound at home. He could be in pain so take special care not to be bitten when examining the wound.

Clean the wound with lukewarm water, and flush it extensively. If your dog’s wound is bleeding, take a clean towel and gently apply pressure. If the wound is superficial, if possible, try to clip the fur around the wound. Take care not to get hair in the wound. You can place sterile KY Jelly in the wound to protect it while clipping the hair. This allows the hair to stick to the KY Jelly instead of the wound.

If your dog appears to be in pain, is not eating, acts lethargic, and/or if you notice swelling, redness, or a foul smelling discharge, see your veterinarian right away. A laceration is always an emergency and should always be examined by a veterinarian. Even small cuts can be deep and can penetrate important structures that require sutures or additional treatment.

Resources for Caring for Your Dog at Home

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