How to Tell If Your Dog is Getting Better From Parvo

Dr. Joe Alcorn, M.S., D.V.M.

Dr. Joe Alcorn is founder of Care Animal Hospital in Temecula, California. He has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and his advice has been featured in large publications like Bustle and Martha Steward.

Home » Blog » How to Tell If Your Dog is Getting Better From Parvo

The canine parvovirus is a highly contagious virus that can spread to dogs by sniffing, touching, or licking infected feces. A dog with parvovirus suffers from symptoms like loss of appetite, diarrhea, weight loss, fever, and depression. If you’re wondering how to tell if your dog is getting better from parvo, know that with the right treatment, there are some signs that will show recovery.

How to Tell If Your Dog is Getting Better From Parvo

To tell if your dog is getting better from Parvo, take a look at their feces. Over the course of a three to five-day treatment, your dog’s stool should be firming up, without any blood. This means the intestinal tract is gradually improving. Your dog will be more active, and consequently, go back to his normal behavior and eating habits soon. 

Woman giving a kiss to her dog

Remember that your dog is recuperating from extensive intestinal tract damage, so recovery may depend on the age and how early you seek veterinary care. 

What Are the Signs That My Dog Is Recovering From Parvo?

There are several signs that can let you know your dog is recovering from Parvo. Mostly, look out if your dog stops vomiting, their eating habits return to normal, there’s less to none blood in their feces, and their activity levels getting back to normal.

Dog Stops Vomiting

The virus causes the small intestine to bleed, affecting the gastrointestinal system that leads to vomiting and dehydration. As dogs with the infection become dehydrated, they may attempt to drink. However, any solid or liquid food they take in would usually come right back up. 

Thus, one of the first signs that your dog is recovering from parvovirus is when he stops vomiting blood or foamy, yellow bile. Additionally, a recovering dog would stop drooling or foaming at the mouth.

Dog’s Eating Habits Return to Normal 

When a dog gets parvovirus, they will lose their appetite. Dogs might even lose weight even if their belly appears to bloat.

Another way of knowing that your dog is getting better from parvo is if they’re starting to regain a good appetite. This means being able to eat on his own and hold food down.

I will prescribe a therapeutic or home-cooked dietary plan that includes easily digestible ingredients such as white rice, fat-free cottage chese, boiled chicken, or pasta. 

Following the right diet and my instructions to the letter is crucial to the recovery process of your dog. s important for your puppy’s food to be easily digestible

After spending so much time on a restricted diet, your puppy might appear extremely hungry and start eating desperately. Don’t allow this to happen as it can lead to side effects such as vomits and diarrhea. It’s best that you feed him in small portions every couple of hours and make sure that you do not feed your dog any other meals than the ones prescribed.

Dog Stops Pooping Bloody Feces

Due to intestinal bleeding, dogs suffer from bloody diarrhea. Along with the undeniable color of blood, the stool has a unique yet strong odor. 

You can tell if your dog is getting better from parvo if their stool is starting to go back to standard color and consistency. If there’s no blood and the feces are firmer, it means that the intestines are healing well.

Dog lying down on his side after getting better from Parvo

Dog’s Activity Level Increases

Weakness or inaction is one of the first signs of parvo in dogs. As the infection progresses, your dog may not respond to your calls or commands. Your dog may not even have the energy to eat or play.  

Parvo causes other problems such as fever, sepsis, and anemia, which all impact activity level. Once you notice that your dog has no trouble standing up or regaining interest with toys, you’ll know that your dog is on the road to recovery.

How to Treat Parvo in Dogs

After a routine checkup, a veterinarian will isolate your dog in a clinic or animal hospital. Some veterinarians allow home isolation. Remember that the virus is contagious, so it’s important that you also protect other dogs. 

Initial Treatment

The initial treatment typically lasts for three to four days. Your dog is still frail to move and eat, so the vet will administer IV fluids to keep your pet hydrated. The IV fluids include electrolytes to ensure your dog’s internal organs remain functional. 

Follow prescription-based sustenance in the form of bland food. In this way, your dog’s gastrointestinal system can easily digest it. Furthermore, your dog must take in medications for diarrhea and nausea, as well as antibiotics to block secondary infections.

Supportive Care 

Supportive health care is the best way to treat a dog with parvo. If your dog successfully finishes the initial treatment, the virus will eventually shed from the body. There are several ways you can help your dog fight the virus:

Your dog will have a very good chance of surviving Parvo with your care and commitment to the treatment.

Woman holding a bowl while trying to feed her Dalmatian

What’s the Recovery Time for a Dog with Parvovirus?

Recovering from parvo can take some time, depending on factors such as the age of your dog and breed. It also depends on how long your dog had parvo before treatment was initiated. In general, it will take a week for your dog to get better from parvo once treatment starts.

Puppies receive vaccination approximately eight to 16 weeks of age. This makes them vulnerable to parvo until they have completed all three shots of vaccination against the disease. Meanwhile, elderly dogs are not physically as strong as mature dogs, which makes their immune systems too weak to battle an infection. 


If your dog is sick with Parvo, seek veterinary care as soon as possible and trust your veterinarian. They will give you all the necessary information, tips, and medicines. 

As an owner, it’s your responsibility to help your dog with eating, exercising, and bathing so that they can continue vaccination after recovery or get vaccinated again. With proper treatment and loving care, you should see your dog getting bette from parvo soon.