Monday, December 16

Helpful Tips for Administering Medicine to Your Dog

Mud? What mud? Seriously, throw the
frisbee already!

We have two beautiful border collies, whom we love to pieces. Border collies are the workaholics of the dog world and consider themselves to be made of adamantium or some other relatively indestructible substance. They plow through (and sometimes pile-drive into) anything that gets in their way, usually without stopping to notice.

But every once in a while, they come up against an injury that actually makes them slow down. Since it's hard to watch my babies hurt, I've done some research over the years to figure out what is and is not safe to give them on such occasions, and I wanted to share a few quick tips and a helpful link with anyone else who is a furry parent and might benefit.

Dogs can have children's benedryl (or the generic loratadine) as an anti-hystimine medicine to reduce itching and allergic-style reactions to things they've encountered. Both in come in relatively small doses (and tiny pills) and are easy to administer.

Pain Relief
While administering medicine is something we do very sparingly with our dogs, sometimes it can go a long way towards easing their misery when they've sliced open a paw or otherwise been injured. Aspirin is the recommended pain medication for dogs, and I like this very helpful chart for how much to give by weight. Note: Puppies and cats should never be given aspirin! 

Food Poisoning
It's not the years, it's the miles...
When your dog has been ill, particularly after food poisoning or other vomit-inducing illness - they can easily get dehydrated and be reluctant to eat or drink. The best solution for this that we've found is a few tablespoons of maple syrup. Sometimes they'll lap it out of a small bowl, other times you may have to coax them to lick it off your fingers, but if you can get it into them, it usually kick-starts their system and will get them drinking again.

To ease them back into eating, give them rice cooked in chicken stock (or any other kind of stock). It will be gentle on their stomach and get some nutrients in them to help their body fight off the illness and re-balance itself.

Hopefully, you won't ever need these remedies, but with the holidays around the corner and the world outside blanketed with snow and ice it's far better to be prepared to take good care of your furry companions than to be caught unaware when they need you!

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