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Wouldn’t it be great to just explain to a dog she needs to rest? 

Because every pet is different there is no ‘standard procedure’ for surgery recovery. When your dog first returns home she may be a little lethargic for a day or so as the drugs wear off and sensation returns.

So it is with all canines that the mind is more willing than the body. The amount of confinement is advised according to the risk of tissues being damaged with movement e.g. the size and depth of incisions. It would be a tragedy to undo any delicate work done during surgery and healing takes time.

We are big advocates for crate training dogs and the potential need for surgery presents another good reason.  It is likely your dog will be crated at the vet.  Once home, if rest is essential, your dog can hang out in her crate or pen where she can see all the family and still feel like she’s part of the group.  She needs to be comfortable using such an area long before the need arises.  It’s unfair to try this type of training in a hurry. Ideally a recovery space is at least large enough for a dog to stand, stretch and turn around in a full circle.

Once its safe and your dog is capable, snuffle mats, nose games and ‘find it’ can help keep your dog thinking before she’s allowed to venture far outside. A brain workout is better than no workout at all.

Discuss post op care with your vet beforehand and find out ways you may need to physically assist your dog.  Assess and plan ahead of time whether you might need to enlist some help, equipment or take any time off. Some ‘very high energy dogs’ may require sedatives. If your dog is not supposed to be running about, keep her by you on a leash to reduce the chance of her taking off.

If your dog is having difficulty standing, a sling (homemade or purchased) can cradle your dog’s undercarriage and help you to bear a little weight or stabilise her as she walks to the car or into the house. Naturally this is not for dogs with abdominal issues.

Regardless of your dog’s condition, avoid slippery surfaces at all times.

Check out Donna Hill’s video below for 20 game ideas.
Remember that if your dog’s daily portion of food is delivered in a bowl it is gone in seconds.  If you use it to play games it goes a lot further.


Leah & Angela O’Meara

Hound Dog Day Care (Specialists in Dog Minding & Dog Boarding, Pet Sitting Brisbane & Doggy Day Care Brisbane)