You may not be so thrilled once ordered to be on bed rest. But you don’t have a choice and you know that you need to follow your doctor’s instructions to get well. Furthermore, you will look for ways to entertain yourself. Hence you begin to enjoy your bed rest moments.
But it is a different story when it comes to your dog. He won’t understand why he needs to be in his crate all day and not run and play like some other days. Crate rest is necessary especially if your dog is injured or is resting after a medical procedure. Remember, a human on bed rest can look for ways to enjoy the time while dogs can’t.
How to let your dog enjoy his crate time
Luckily, you can actually manage this situation like a pro. There are several ways you can keep your furry friend occupied while he is on bed rest.
Dr. Dawn Martin, DVM, DVSc, DACVIM of Bayside Veterinary Specialists in Tampa, Florida and internal medicine specialists, has just recently experienced this situation with her dog, Ella. Ella underwent surgery after rupturing her cranial cruciate ligament. Hence the need for crate rest.
According to Dr. Martin, Ella being the energetic dog she is, it wasn’t always easy to keep her calm and still. However, Dr. Martin saw this as an opportunity to put into practice the tips she often gives her patients, and now she is sharing it with us.
Plenty of mental stimulation
Food puzzles are an important factor to keep your dog mentally stimulated during his or her crate rest. This will allow him to think a lot while getting ‘rewards’ every time he can solve a puzzle. However, be sure that you measure your dog’s food and that he gets a well-balanced feeding during these times.
But keep in mind that not all dogs are the same. Therefore, you need to check out what is best suited for your dog. There are a wide variety of reward-based toys that you can choose from. There are simple food puzzles and there are more complex ones – the latter best-suited for highly driven and smart dog breeds.
Try revising physical activities after getting a go-signal from your vet
You can still have your dog perform certain physical activities depending on the medical condition he is in. But it is important that you involve your surgeon or veterinarian prior to doing the said activities. Dr. Martin also recommends letting your dog walk through water, especially if the sutures are already removed. Water is ideal since this will reduce the amount of weight on their injuries.
You don’t necessarily have to bring your dog to the beach. You can try an underwater treadmill, which is often available in any rehabilitation center for animals. You can also seek recommendations from your vet for any rehabilitation centers near you.
In the event that there is no rehabilitation facility near you, you can take advantage of your own pool with stairs. You can let your dog climb in and out of the pool. You can also have him swim in the pool as long as he is equipped with a floating device.
The most important thing is to always refer to your surgeon first before performing any of these activities. Just like humans, no matter how healthy or strong you are, during recovery, it can still be difficult. So take one step at a time.