Activities For Dogs After Disc Surgery

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Introduction

Dogs suffering from degenerative disc disease are in a tremendous amount of pain. Simple things like rising to jump off the couch or climbing a short flight of stairs become monumental tasks. It's hard for an owner to glimpse the light start to fade in the eyes of their beloved canine friends. Thankfully, modern veterinary medicine offers medications which provide pain relief and even surgeries which can ease the pressure and discomfort of disc issues. Though dogs having had disc-related surgeries must spend some time in recovery mode, their minds and bodies continue to crave the active lifestyle they once enjoyed in their younger years. The good news is there are lots of fun things owners can do with their dogs who are recovering from disc surgery!

Toy Box Tussle

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Any Day
Moderate
Easy
10 - 60 min
Items needed
Toy Box
Toys of various sizes, shapes, colors, and textures
Activity description
Unfortunately, crate rest is typically on the agenda for dogs who have just undergone surgery for disc-related problems. For a lot of dogs, crate rest equates to one word alone: BORING. But it doesn't have to be. With this in mind, Toy Box Tussle is the ideal game to keep your dog in tiptop form mentally while giving his jaws a workout too. This game improves overall well-being and reduces stress. What could be better? Toy Box Tussle is a mystery adventure just waiting to happen. No longer are toy boxes just for kids! Your dog can have one too, and if you pack it just right, their enthusiasm will rank as high as any child's on Christmas morning! For best results, select a sturdy toy box that will not tip over easily. This will help prevent further injury. If possible, locate the box near to your dog's resting area or limit their mobility by including it inside an x-pen which allows for a moderate amount of movement but not enough to cause your dog any harm.
Step
1
Shopping time
No true party can begin without a trip to the store. If your favorite canine pal is up to tagging along and won't become overexcited, you can bring them along with you. If not, you will still be able to select some real treasures your dog is bound to enjoy. Don't limit yourself simply to pet stores. Anything and everything you think might interest your dog, and that will not cause them harm is fair game for consideration. Choosing some high-quality toys from pet stores will give you some pieces with better longevity, but dollar store items also have their place in the box and will allow your budget to stretch further.
Step
2
Load the toy box
Armed with all of your treasures, choose a sampling of items to load into the box. Be sure to include items of all different varieties. Shapes, sizes, textures, colors...these will all appeal to your dog's senses and will help to keep them engaged and interested in the toy box. To increase the excitement, rotate toys on a daily basis, taking a few out and adding new ones in. This variety will ensure your dog's curiosity remains piqued. For a little added fun, why not throw in a Kong stuffed with a tasty treat or even a present for your dog to unwrap?
Step
3
Party time
When the box is sufficiently full, call your dog and allow them to select some toys to play with. If your dog has free access to the box throughout the day, you will notice them swapping things out to allow them to try many different things in one play sitting. This is one game that if kept suitably varied never gets old.
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Yoga Doggy Style

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
15 - 30 min
Items needed
A yoga mat
Activity description
Invariably, physiotherapy and pain management form a part of the strategy to get your dog well again. The thought of strengthening exercises on a daily basis is enough to make anyone fight hard to stifle a yawn, and your dog is no exception. However, perspective is everything. If you turn physiotherapy into doggy yoga for two, both you and your favorite canine sidekick are going to enjoy it a whole lot more. After all, who says that just because something is good for you it has to be boring too? Not so! Yoga can be very relaxing and has powerful effects on the body and emotions. Believe it or not; after only a few sessions, you will find yourself looking forward to spending this quiet time alone with your dog. You will be able to help them advance towards their goal of a pain-free life and get just a little bit healthier yourself in the process. Who can complain about that?
Step
1
Set the mood
Part of the struggle when it comes to doing things we know we should is it feels so clinical. The beauty of Yoga Doggy Style is it can be a customized experience that you and your dog can look forward to. Structure it as something that feeds your soul. By changing your perspective about the activity, you can elevate it to something more pleasant in your mind. Take care to select music that will help you and your dog to feel centered and calm. Mood lighting can help set the stage as well. Choose a remote area of your home or yard that will allow for uninterrupted time to devote to relaxing and stretching. It is equally as important that you choose soft, comfortable bedding for your dog to lay on during his physiotherapy exercises.
Step
2
Get to work
Once you have found the ideal location and equipped it with all of the necessary tools for your yoga session, it is time to begin. If you do not have a list of prescribed exercises from your veterinarian, many are available online on a website or on YouTube. If necessary, make use of an Ipad, laptop, or phone to gain access to the necessary instructions you will need.
Step
3
Treat yourself
Work always goes a little better if you know you there is a treat waiting for you at the end of the day. Whether it's a raw, meaty bone for your favorite canine pal, a game of tug, or a massage, your dog will look forward to these activity sessions all the more if they get them more time with their all-time fave person AND an extra reward for good behavior.
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Stuff It

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
15 - 30 min
Items needed
Kong
Food items to fill the Kong
Activity description
Since dogs recovering from surgery do spend a great deal of time sedentary, it is very important to make sure that they do get a little bit of exercise each day, even if it comes in the form of using their teeth and tongue. Kongs are great objects to fill with different foods and can keep your dog entertained for hours! If you have to go out and can't take your dog with you, simply fill a Kong with some of your dog's favorite things, and they might not even notice you are gone! Stuff It is a grand fun game with the object being to layer as many different delicious items into a Kong for your dog to later enjoy. Bonus points to the person who manages to make theirs aromatic enough to make people's eyes water. That Kong is bound to earn high marks from any dog!
Step
1
Choose your stuffing
There are many different foods you can choose from to stuff your Kong. To keep your dog's interest level high and their teeth at work for the longest time, layering is the way to go. You can choose from many different items including broths, cut pieces of meat and cheese, Cheez Whiz, liverwurst, yogurt, and more. Whatever floats your dog's boat can be layered in the Kong for a delectable afternoon treat.
Step
2
Stuff your kong
Carefully layer each item into the Kong. If using liquids, you may want to freeze the Kong to make the game last a little longer for your dog and to keep the liquids where they belong. Try to stick to foods that actually taste good together. Making use of pungent foods makes the game twice as fun for your dog as they then get to use their nose AND their mouth.
Step
3
Canine enjoyment
Once your Kong is stuffed and frozen (if you so choose), you may offer your prize to your dog. Some dogs are lazy and will only eat the peripheral items, choosing rather to give up when it gets tough. But others will chew and lick and bite until the very last micron of "stuffing" is gone. Regardless of which type of Stuff It player your dog is, they will still have a ball!
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More Fun Ideas...

Chewin' USA

When all else fails, there is nothing like a great chew toy or bone to while away the hours. Raw, meaty bones not only keep your dog occupied, but they also clean their teeth. You can't help but win with that combination.

Music Day

It is a well-known scientific fact that music has healing powers. Maybe a day of relaxing music is just what your dog needs to speed their recovery. Choose from compilations of classical music intended to soothe the canine's heart such as Through a Dog's Ear or simply create your own mix of tunes.

Conclusion

It's hard to keep a good dog down, but unfortunately, sometimes it is necessary. Though crate rest is often mandated by veterinarians for dogs recovering from disc surgery, it doesn't have to be the same old, same old. With a little bit of flair and forethought, your creative juices can lead you to some games that allow your dog to get the rest time they need and have fun too. What could be better for a dog on the mend? To help keep your dog's spirits high while they recover from surgery, consider trying one of these great games today.