If you're a pet owner, consider that the time may
come when you’re stricken with an ongoing illness or simply feel
under the weather, yet your “baby” won’t stop depending on you.
But the good news is you don’t have to give up your pet—in fact,
having a pet by your side can help lift your spirits and hasten
your road to recovery. Just keep in mind that pets can spread disease—so
it’s equally essential to protect your pet’s health while tending
to your own. If you are too sick to give your pet proper attention,
get help from a friend, relative, neighbor or perhaps a pet sitter.
Most pet sitters charge reasonable rates and can tend to feeding,
caring for and exercising your pet. There are nonprofit organizations
that assist pet owners with ongoing illnesses such as HIV. They
provide everything from foster care to litter box cleaning. You
can check with local veterinarians, veterinary schools, animal shelters,
social service agencies and health care clinics for a list of resources
in your area.