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.
Know What Your Dog Can and Can’t Do
Get advice from your vet/surgeon on your dog’s abilities during rehab and recovery.
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.
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.
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.
Did we miss any ideas for keeping a dog occupied safely while convalescing? Bark at me below in the comments.