Is it OK to bring my dog’s favorite blanket or toy or a piece of clothing with my scent on it if she needs to be hospitalized overnight?

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That pretty much depends upon the instructions of your veterinarian, the animal hospital, the reasons for her hospitalization, and your own common sense.

Some veterinary hospitals will give their okay, while others won’t want any distractions from home, and that includes visits from you, because they feel it can compromise your pet’s care. This seems to be especially true when it’s an emergency and the dog is in ICU, but the hospital will let you know when it’s okay to visit and possibly bring things.

Whether it’s a planned hospital stay, or a sudden emergency, the hospital will give you very detailed instructions which will include post-visit home care.

Sometimes a favorite toy or article of clothing with a familiar scent can help with anxiety. A toy can also help distract her if she’s aggressive and antagonistic to the hospital staff. And keep in mind that it’s an animal hospital, not a pet hotel—so your dog will probably get a sheet, not fluffy blankets and pillows—so if your vet gives you the okay, you’ll probably want to bring them.

On the other hand, if your dog is hospitalized with, say, pancreatitis, with a lot of non-stop vomiting or diarrhea that may not be practical. If she goes in for surgery, the grogginess of the anesthesia can cause choking or she may even get caught in the clothing.

The most important thing is to avoid emotional good-byes; a trip to the hospital will be anxious for both the dog and the owner, so you’ll want to avoid any stress-inducing “scenes.”

When she gets home, your dog may be a little clingy at first and she might need some reassurance and comforting. That’s because she’s undoubtedly worried that she’ll be left someplace without you again, so spend a little extra time with her.

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