Pets and Peritoneal Dialysis? Absolutely!
For most of us, pets are family. Bringing dialysis treatments home doesn’t mean having to find a new one for your animal buddy.
“My cats are my kids!” says JF, a long-time peritoneal dialysis patient. “I wouldn’t throw them out on the street because I started PD, I figure it out and adjust.”
Home dialysis options offer patients the flexibility to create schedules that allow them to focus on what they love — work, school, family, and hobbies.
Here are some tips for pet lovers on how to be successful performing dialysis at home:
- Curious paws and puppy-sharp teeth can find their way to dialysis machine tubing. Keep pets in another room during treatments, especially during connecting and disconnecting to the machines.
- If possible, keep supplies and machine in a spare room. Keep the door to that room closed.
- Wash your hands frequently, especially after feeding, or cleaning up after your pet. And, of course, before you connect or disconnect from your dialysis machine.
- Keep pet nails short to avoid scratches that can also spread disease.
- If you have a cat or bird, have someone else in your life clean the litter box to avoid exposure to bacteria that might lead to illness.
- Frequently clean furniture and floors to reduce fur and dander.
- When choosing a new pet, choose one with hair (rather than fur).
- Keep your pet healthy with regular visits to the vet.
With just a few simple changes to your pet’s life, you can fit dialysis into your home life and enjoy all the benefits of better health as well as the love of a furry friend.