Humans aren’t the only ones who get respiratory illnesses. Sometimes our pets need nebulizer treatments too. Unfortunately, your dog or cat may not want to sit still for a nebulizer treatment. Here are several things you can do to make the process easier for everyone.
1. Be Relaxed
Unless you’re telepathic, you can’t directly explain to your dog what a nebulizer is or why you’re treating him with it. But pets will pick up on your nonverbal cues. If you go into the nebulizer treatment worried that your dog will be squirmy and try to get away, your dog will think something’s up and likely be squirmy and try to get away. But if you go in calm, your pet will know everything’s fine. Whatever this new device is, it must be okay, because you’re okay with it.
2. Use an Ultrasonic Nebulizer
Do noisy machines bother your dog? If so, you may want to get an ultrasonic nebulizer instead of a traditional, noisy jet nebulizer. This alone could make a huge difference.
3. Alternative Delivery Methods
The most effective delivery method is to put the nebulizer mask over your dog’s face. This ensures they get all the medication. But if your dog just won’t cooperate there are other methods you can try. For example, you could hold the nebulizer mouthpiece very close to your dog’s mouth. Or you could put your dog and the nebulizer inside a cage and place a towel over the cage to keep as much medication in as possible.
4. Keep the Nebulizer Clean
There’s an urban legend that dogs’ mouths our cleaner than ours. Though this hasn’t been conclusively disproven, the reasons we once believed it have been debunked. In 1988, a study found that human bites were more likely to get infected than dog bites. But the study counted teeth wounds inherited by punching another human in the mouth as “bites.” These fake bites were deeper and more likely to result in infection, skewing the results of the study.
All that to say, even when treating a dog it’s important to clean your nebulizer after each use.