You’ve digested the fact that your dog is having surgery. You have figured out how to cover the bill, have ready your house to accommodate a post-surgical dog, and are ready to take care of your dog during restoration. When you have an energetic dog, this thought has already occurred to you… how are you going to keep your pet silent for 8-14 months while he recovers? If you are like most people, your reply is “It is not possible” or “there is no way that I can achieve this. My puppy is going to be so tired” Your next thought is probably the realization your dog is going to be expressing boredom with boredom reaction behaviors such as biting, biting, jumping, complaining, destruction or melancholy.
The fantastic news is that mental stimulation is just as rewarding to a puppy as exercise and you can keep your dog’s mind occupied while he recovers from surgery. Below are a couple of things you can do every day to keep your pet occupied and out of trouble while he recovers:
- These products distribute kibble and soft foods like yogurt, canned dog food, or pumpkin and turn a three-second feeding event into a mentally challenging activity. If your dog has never used these products before, be sure to introduce him to the products first so he learns how to use them. Education videos to teaching your dog how to use a Kong or Monster are available online.
- Offer your pet a raw bone in case your vet approves of the use. These can be obtained at many dog boutique shops and will keep your pet occupied for hours. They are messy though and therefore are best given at the crate or X-pen.
- Teach your dog a brand new game every couple of days. There are hundreds of things you can do with a dog recovering from surgery that requires only the use of their eyes, the snout, or even a single paw. There are 80 such games in Woof it Up’s Play & Train Kit which have been tested and perfected with dogs wearing e-collars and people who have limited mobility. Choose a game and begin! Your dog will love having something to do and you’ll love all of the things he’s learning.
- If your dog is restricted to his cage, place novel things from the environment that he can look at. Staring at the same walls throughout the cage will get boring fast. If you can, move the crate every few days to achieve the same function.
- Utilize the puppy’s most primal sense; his sense of smell. It can be rather enriching for some dogs to be vulnerable to scents. Put a drop of this lemon infusion on the ground in the same room since the crate (not in the crate please.) Change the scent every two or three times using a drop of lavender, or vanilla. A dog’s sense of smell is significantly superior to ours therefore a single drop of scent put at least ten feet away from the crate will do the trick. You could also look at using a dog appeasing pheromone known as DAP. This recreates the odor of mother’s milk and several dogs find this calming.
- Utilize touch exercises and puppy massage. Both enhance circulation and will relax your dog’s body and mind. If your pet is depressed after surgery, purposeful touch can help greatly.
- Rotate toys to keep them more interesting. Think about purchasing five new toys of different shapes and textures. Introduce them to your dog one at a time. Eliminate the first new toy on day two when you present another one and keep rotating them to keep interested high. There’s nothing like a book toy to raise a dog’s spirits.
Regrettably, we cannot inform our pets which recovery is a procedure that won’t last forever but we can tell them every day through our actions that we understand what they are going through and we could help them get through the boredom. Here is to a speedy recovery!
Here at Richmond animal hospital, we’re pleased to provide a broad array of surgical procedures for cats and dogs in the Richmond area utilizing innovative surgical techniques and rigorous safety protocols.
During each operation, a dedicated nurse will administer sedation and continuously track your pet using digital patient monitoring equipment. Learn more from our animal orthopedic surgeon.
Tracking after the operation in addition to pain control is our priority following surgery. Your veterinarian will also give detailed instructions for care as soon as they return home. Click here to find out more.