Entertaining the Injured Dog
When dogs become injured and can't be exercised, keeping them (and you) sane can be an issue, so here are some tips to help.
- If your dog is not on cage rest then now may be an ideal time to teach them to walk on the lead without pulling. This is a low energy exercise where they have to gain self control and is also useful in the long run in preventing damage to their neck through constant pulling. Have your dog on a short lead and take one step forward and stop. If the dog does not pull on the lead repeat the next step. If they pull stand still until they give you attention then take the next step. If they pull on the lead do not react just fix your hand still against your leg until they look up at you or stop pulling. When you can do 10 x 1 steps then you may do 2 steps at a time. Working your way up to 10 x 10 steps. If at any point your dog fails, or pulls on the lead you must start again at the beginning and take 1 step at a time.
- Make meal times last longer. Remove your normal feed bowl and either use an anti gulp bowl, maze bowl or game where the dog has to search for his food. This will take some time and make your dog think.
- Time out. Take some time each day to specifically just sit with your dog. Stroke him or massage him so he is getting all of your attention in a positive and calm way.
- Teach him something new. What you can teach him will depend on the reason he is on rest but you may be able to teach him nose touches, paw targeting, to lie on his side. There will be a whole host of fun tricks on Youtube you could teach him.
- Use the time to teach something he doesn't do well. Basic sit and down you could teach a longer duration or may be teach to stand on command which may help if he needs to be examined by a vet.
- Give the dog a bone! or a stuffed Kong type toy. By giving him something to chew he can release some frustration and will not be encouraged to chew or destroy something he should not like his bed.