Today, a coworker expressed how difficult it was to keep his dog, who recently had a major surgery to his leg, entertained. Titus, the dog in question shouldn’t be exercised heavily or even moderately at the moment and instead is going for brief walks as a result of his injury. Now somewhat stir crazy, Titus is destroying things he shouldn’t be, including his toys!
Most of our dogs will undergo some kind of surgery like desexing, a broken bone, removal of a foreign object… More frequently than not your dog’s veterinarian will tell you to take it easy for awhile! Despite this your dog is better in half the time they should be recovering and is ready to get back out into the world. To help you during this time I’ve compiled a list of ways to keep your dog exercised without the physical stress that could injure them.
Puzzles and Brain Games
There are a variety of puzzle games for dogs who are food motivated. Most of these toys can be used with either treats or can be used to give them their regular meals and also aid dogs who eat too quickly.
Hide and seek is the most enjoyable game we play with Moose, if your dog has a good ‘Sit’ & ‘Stay’ then this is a great game for you!
If your dog tends to have a lower energy level inside, basic obedience or trick training could be fun. Working on stay with distance or choosing toys by name, or teaching your dog a useful task like opening a door or putting away their toys can be done without requiring too much physical activity. Click here for Zak George training videos!
High Value Treats or Toys
I often find myself needing to preoccupy the dogs without having them running wild through my apartment! So these toys and treats will find use outside of post-op! There are all kinds of toys and treats you can find for your dog to keep them busy, you’ll want to try out a few to figure out what they like best. Here are a few that we love!
These are super affordable, they take Moose a few minutes to chew up and promote healthy teeth! we save 5% by selecting “Auto Ship” at checkout.
This rope toy with bone held between knots is the favorite toy in our home, Moose actually barked indoors for the first time when Francis took this away from him. We were SHOOK! I purchased a second in an attempt to keep things fair and limit their playtime with so it holds its value.
We have two of these that my dogs have gotten no where near destroying that we use a few times a week while we clean or leave for an unexpected errand. If I am abruptly unable to take them for walks or to the park, this is a good substitute to help subside some of their built up energy. You can stuff it with homemade ingredients like kibble, peanut butter, pre made treats or yogurt and to make the fun last a little longer you can freeze it.
When we need durability and high value, Starmark is one of our go to brands. Both Moose and Francis enjoy gnawing on the long lasting treats that can be replaced overtime.
Something I didn’t mention earlier that you can implement now and use long term is toy rotation. Moose and Francis have so many toys, but I often felt like they were bored with everything they had. So I made two separate boxes of toys and every three days switched them out so that everything seemed brand new again. This worked really well for us and they’re often preoccupied with their toys all of the time that they’re not sleeping or we’re not interacting with them.