Containing a Sick Pet Gently

A sick pet can be contained for a variety of reasons. The animal needs to be restricted from lots of movement and excitement, it is prone to leave a mess uncontrollably due to being sick, it needs to be separated from other pets, and more. Containment has traditionally involved putting the animal in a kennel box or cage, but this is incredibly harmful mentally to a pet used to freedom and a sure way to drive up its anxiety, only making the pet even worse off health-wise.

How a Sick Animal Behaves

A lot like humans, animals that are not feeling well just want to retreat and sit somewhere they won’t be bothered. However, some pets, particularly dogs, want to stay near their owners for bonding and closeness. As a result, sick pets frequently fight to stay close but then seek a corner to view the entire room to feel secure.

Significant changes in how the pet behaves while sick can result in a specific behavior that is quite distinct from how the animal ordinarily behaves. 

These frequently include:

  • Loss of appetite (not eating or drinking)
  • Vomiting
  • Uncontrolled bladder
  • Lack of energy
  • Noticeable blood in waste
  • Bloating of the body and belly
  • Irritability when being handled
  • Smells and odors worse than normal
  • Ear or nose discharge
  • Significant difficulty moving and inability to handle stairs
  • Whimpering or whining

Rest and Restriction

When a veterinarian diagnoses a pet, the animal is usually put on a medication regimen and must be restricted. One of the best ways to do this is with the use of modular clear-view containment systems like those at Clearly Loved Pets (see for more info). These panels can connect and form different shapes that allow the animal to see, feel open air above, move in a restricted area, and feel safe. While the animal heals in a specific spot, the enclosure also saves the pet owner a lot of time cleaning up after the pet or having to continually monitor the pet. This approach is very useful for pets that are old and may be in a hospice stage, but not ready for an artificial ending and instead just need to be kept in a secure, comfortable location.

Remember that cages do not work well and are frequently regarded as punishment and isolation by pets. Being kind when a pet is sick often aids in recovery and, if necessary, makes their hospice stay easier for everyone involved.