dog cows

Dog Entertains Cows After Surgery

dog cows

Our Puppy Relations (PR) Manager, Dexter, underwent surgery for a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right leg several weeks ago. In an attempt to do something to keep him entertained after surgery, we visited a field of cows.

What ensued took us by surprise, as the cows seemed to embrace my dog and he seemed to “entertain” them, too. Give a peek here at this video we captured and then read on for ways to keep your dog entertained in the postoperative period.


There are things you should do with your dog if he or she is injured, recovering, or had surgery: An inactive mind can lead to a lot of things: Depression, bad habits, and a sad pooch. Here are five things you can do postoperatively to keep your dog happy and safe from re-injury at the same time:

Skip the E-Collar

After leg surgery, it was advised by my dog’s surgeon that he wear an e-collar: that lampshade-looking thing dogs across the world often wear to prevent them from licking a wound or bothering sutures/staples. I know my dog, Dexter, would be more depressed wearing that cone than the actual surgical process itself. After exploring other options, we stumbled on something called Cover Me by Tui. This is a post-surgical pet garment that comes in a range of colors, options and sizes to fit any dog’s needs. It prevents licking & chewing at surgical sutures and hot spots and is breathable, washable, has a potty flap, and I am so over the moon for this product, that we’ll be talking much more about it in the coming months. The act of wearing this “doggie pajama” saved our pooch from the cone blahs for sure.

tulane closet

Know What Your Dog Can and Can’t Do

Get advice from your vet/surgeon on your dog’s abilities during rehab and recovery.

Be Outdoors

Depending on the size of your dog, consider a pet stroller. The one we used is called the  Jogger Stroller, and is able accommodate a dog up to 70 pounds. If a stroller isn’t something are interested in or if your dog is wiggly or girthy, then just get outside and sit somewhere together. Let the dog feel the blades of grass between his paw pads and just get some fresh air in his lungs. I know when I had my surgery a few years ago, it felt good to get out of the house. You’ll notice the red stroller in some of the above cow video: That’s the jogger stroller we used for a few weeks.

dog stroller

Brain Games

The Nina Ottosson Collection of games is designed to exercise a dog’s brain. These activity toys encourage problem solving in a multitude of ways: finding hidden treats via lifting and pushing blocks, pushing pieces and turning discs. The Kong line of mind-stimulating toys fit the bill as dogs start to regain mobility or are given clearance to walk from their treating veterinarian.


Toy Rotation

In the first few days of Dexter’s recovery, he was not too interested in much, and we didn’t want him moving a lot, per doctor’s orders. We did, however, purchase a bunch of new soft squeaky toys he could cuddle with, chew on, and mouth with in the first 10 days postop. We picked out different shapes, textures, and sounds, and gave him a new one each night. We also gave him one of his favorite bones to work on a few days after surgery. Coupled with gentle massage, tummy rubs, and lots of kisses, I can honestly say he is happily on the road to recovery.

toys dog

Did we miss any ideas for keeping a dog occupied safely while convalescing? Bark at me below in the comments.



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  1. I’m glad that Dexter is doing so well. My son has a huge field with cattle in it behind his house. I love to go feed them grass. Cows are cool and very inquisitive. I’m sure they thought Dexter was entertaining. The post-operative garment is a brilliant idea!

  2. You came up with some great ideas to keep Dexter entertained while he recovers. Hope he feels better soon. I used a doggie stroller for my paralyzed dog and we loved that it gave her back some of her mobility.

  3. the video is so cute. It is good to see that Dexter doesn`t have to wear the lampshade collar.

  4. Oh my gosh, that video is so cute! We’re big fans of puzzle toys when we have a dog needing recovery time. I also love heading to a park where I can sit and read and he dog can enjoy the weather 🙂

    1. It was hard to keep a straight face and not jiggle the camera when he was rolling there with the cows, LOL

  5. Dogs and cows are fun together. Katie was a puppy in Bavaria, Germany in a rural area. Mom says she spent time in one of the barns almost every day visiting the cows and sometimes calves. She loved them until one day she was jogging with Mom and a herd was loose and ran behind them down the road. Since that day she is terrified – LOL! Good for Dex making moo friends!

    1. OMD I think Dex would either try to play with them or run, Emma. That is a hoot of a story though BOL

  6. Hi! I have a question. Now that you have had the two ACL surgeries on your dog. Is it pretty safe to say that he won’t have any more trouble with “fixed” legs And his front legs? I’m mean could there be a 3rd leg?!? Or 4th?!?
    Our shitzu/havanese dog had surgery on his 1st left leg in nov 2014 and last night we took him on a small hike and he was LOVING it and then at end of hike he started limping on his right leg. I’m sooo bummed. Almost like a déjà vu. It almost seems worse. Anyway I’ve been reading all your posts about your dogs experience and the above questions came to mind. My dog is 8. The last surgery was not fun for either him or us! It really bums me out to think we have to do it all over again. We both work too. So glad I discovered your blog. Will also look into the garmet instead of cone. That cone was awful!!!!!

    Thanks for your response! Jennifer

    1. Hi Jen –

      Well what I have learned in nearly 25 years of being a Cocker Mom is that anything can go wrong and there are things I am now well versed in that I never thought I would be. Even when repaired, there is a slim chance the rear legs can be re-injured or that the meniscus, if not removed, can tear, arthritis can set in, etc. But yes the front legs can have issues – just like if you or I had our legs fixed – that doesn’t guarantee the arms won’t sustain injury.

      Did your little guy have ACL surgery? If so, there is a high likelihood the other leg ACL will tear, which is what happened to our dog. He is doing great. Activity post op is key and keeping the dog active. Let me know how he does and if he needs surgery again. Paws crossed he doesn’t. And the garment was such a pleasure to use. Keep us posted.

      1. Thanks for your response!

        We just found out our little guy, Toby TORE his ACL but only partially?? They are NOT recommending surgery at this point. But I feel like its inevitable that it will be necessary? They gave him a cortisone shot and said to have him limit activities for 10 days.


        Can they do surgery only on a partial?? Or they have to wait until completely torn??

        Again, he had ACL surgery on his left leg and now this happened on his right leg.

        Normally, Toby loves to jog with me 3 days a week. He also hangs out at my parents lake cabin with their dog a Brittney Spaniel (Very active dog).

        So with this activity level I feel like its really going to be hard to restrict him that much!

        Any advice for me? Thank you very much! So glad I found your blog!


        1. Oh yes I can help big time as a dog mom who has been there, done that, and who has been through so much. Here is what I recommend reading for starters. I would say try to rest it but if it is a partial tear, be warned it will probably become a full tear. I hate saying that and wish it wasn’t so, but arthritis sets in with a partial tear and the tear also makes the meniscus more prone to damage.

          10 days really isn’t enough time for a dog to have scar tissue form to replace the ligament that is now torn. What happens is that scar tissue needs to fill in that ligament tear and the leg needs to be stable in the meantime. We got a custom brace for our dog when that happened and loved it, but he ended up tearing it anyways.

          Okay, Jennifer, here is the best reference to start and each link will take you to the journey and everything we learned. Please keep me posted and I am happy to help!

  7. anybody have experience with keeping a very active young Lab inactive during ACL recovery time. She needs to get her wiggles out!!!

  8. My young Lab will be having ACL surgery soon. Any ideas regarding suppressing her hyperactive nature while she recovers?

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