Activities For Dogs After A Blood Transfusion

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Introduction

Dogs may need blood transfusions for a number of reasons. Typically, it can relate to a trauma they have experienced, a toxicity of various kinds, disease, or surgery. The process involves replacing red blood cells to ensure organs receive all the oxygen they require for a happy, healthy pup. However, because transfusions can be taxing on a dog - especially if they need more than one, it’s crucial to find activities for your dog that don’t require a lot of exertion. If your dog is recovering from a condition or trauma that required a blood transfusion, you may find a few of the activities below helpful.

Massage

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Any Day
Free
Easy
20 min
Items needed
Blanket
Bed
Activity description
After a blood transfusion, it’s not uncommon for your dog to feel distressed, anxious, and uncomfortable. After all, they didn’t receive a blood transfusion for no reason. If they are anemic or have suffered a trauma or medical event, they will most likely not be feeling up to doing much. However, sometimes, sleep can evade them and you need to do all you can to provide a calming and comforting environment. Massage can help. This free activity only requires 20 minutes of your time, and you can carry it out in the comfort of your home. Have your puppy lie on their bed with a blanket to make sure they’re comfortable and get started.
Step
1
Get comfortable
The first step to massaging your dog is to make sure they are as comfortable as possible. Guide them to their bed, or yours, or somewhere that’s comfortable, soft, and safe. Your dog, if in pain and discomfort, can be on high alert. Make sure they are in a comforting environment where there is minimal distraction or noise.
Step
2
Neck massage
Massaging your dog’s neck can have a comforting effect, and your goal during this process is to help them fall asleep. Run your hands along their neck, rubbing them in a circular motion with medium intensity. You want them to feel relaxed so keep the motions consistent and always in a circular pattern. While doing so, pay attention to their eyes. Are they beginning to look sleepy or are they more alert than before? Adjust your intensity if they are still not yet looking comfortable.
Step
3
Shoulder massage
Once you’ve got your dog into a state of comfort and calm, move your hands down to their shoulder blades and begin rubbing around the tops of their legs. Use the same intensity and circular motion as you used around their neck. If you find they aren’t responding positively or don’t look relaxed, go back to their neck or stop the process. Sometimes, leaving them alone to rest can be the best option for your dog to feel comfortable.
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Chew Toy

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
1 hr
Items needed
Chew toy
Activity description
When your dog has received a blood transfusion, it’s important to keep them quiet indoors so they have time to recover and let their body heal. However, for the dog that’s typically quite energetic, it can be challenging to do so. If you still want to keep their mind active while their body recovers, provide them with fun chew toys they can chew for an hour or so indoors. They are cheap, easy, and will provide your pooch with something to do that distracts them from their illness or injury.
Step
1
Buy toys
You know better than anyone the type of toy that’s suitable for your dog. Some dogs like to chew toys to play with them while others prefer to destroy them until your home features rubber confetti. Therefore, when you go out shopping, choose a chew toy that’s representative of your dog’s ability. The packaging normally tells you how durable the toy is.
Step
2
Supervise
When you bring your pup’s new toys home, they are bound to be excited or at least curious by what you have in your hand. When you give it to them, supervise the play. You want them to have fun with it, but you don’t want them to move too much, or destroy the toy and begin eating the pieces. Because you should supervise a dog after a blood transfusion anyway, it won’t be too much more effort to watch them play.
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Food Puzzle

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Treats
Food puzzle
Activity description
Normally, dogs aren’t very interested in food after they receive a blood transfusion. In fact, they are likely to be uncomfortable, unhappy, and feeling sorry for themselves. However, as a pet owner, you will want to do everything you can to make sure they get at least some form of food. Food puzzles can provide both mental stimulation and an opportunity for nutrition. Your dog can spend an hour or more inside with it while being distracted from their illness or injury. While buying food puzzles can cost a bit of money, it’s worth it when your dog looks happier than they have in a while.
Step
1
Buy or build
Seeing the price of some food puzzles can make you wonder whether building one yourself could be a better option. And, in some cases, it can be. If you don’t think your dog is up to the challenge of working switches and levers that some manufactured food puzzles have, you can make easier versions at home. Alternatively, you can buy balls with holes for food to fall out of. Choosing to buy or build can often be down to what you believe your dog’s capabilities are and whether you have the creativity to follow through with a suitable creation.
Step
2
Select treats
When your dog doesn’t have an appetite, it can be challenging to get them to eat food. Therefore, any type of food you put in your food puzzle is going to be trial and error. If they aren’t showing interest in their kibble, opt for tasty treats you can buy for dogs at stores. Alternatively, you can select natural ingredients you find around the home such as capsicum, sweet potato, pumpkin, rice, and boiled chicken.
Step
3
Supervise
It’s a good idea to supervise your dog’s play with a food puzzle so you can see whether they are showing interest and are eating food. If you find they aren’t interested in the food or the toy, take it from them then bring it back to them later. If they still don’t want to either eat or play, leave it with them and monitor them closely. You may find they show more interest when you’re not intent on them using it.
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More Fun Ideas...

Car Ride

If your dog isn’t up to walking but they love rides in the car, give them a treat that doesn’t require them to move around. Put a few blankets in your car, wind the window down part way, and take them for a spin. While they might not feel like running and playing, they will love being able to watch everything that’s going on around them in the car. However, make it a short journey so they can come home and rest again.

Backyard Fun

When your dog starts to perk up after a blood transfusion, they can begin to show interest in going outdoors again. While you don’t want to let them exert too much energy, you will find a supervised trip to the backyard can be beneficial. You can walk them around the yard, try to get them interested in food, and then bring them indoors again. Sometimes, fresh air can be all it takes to help them begin feeling better again.

Conclusion

When your pup is feeling a little ruff, they need you now more than ever before. However, they also still need stimulation. If you want your dog to be feeling at their best and have a smooth recovery, you may find these activities above helpful. The more attention you can provide them, the safer and more secure they will feel.