Activities For Dogs After Eye Surgery

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Introduction

Surgery can be tough on a dog just like it is on any person. If your dog is having eye surgery, this is no exception to that difficulty. Your dog will need to be sedated and will be groggy afterward. They may have pain or discomfort and will need to be taken care of much more than usual. While your pup may typically be active and full of energy, this may not be the case immediately after surgery. These activities will help you care for your dog and keep them happy after eye surgery.

Quiet Time

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Any Day
Free
Easy
8 hrs
Items needed
Pillows
Blankets
Activity description

After a surgery, it is common for people to want to check in on you and your pup and see how everyone is doing. While this is very thoughtful, your dog will actually benefit most from quiet time at home. After eye surgery, your dog will need to rest and anything that may stimulate them or get them so excited that they want to run around is a bad idea. You really want to encourage rest and the best way to do this is to create a quiet and relaxing atmosphere for your pup. You could probably use a little down time yourself anyway!

Step
1
Quiet space
Set up a nice quiet area where your dog will be able to rest. Wherever your pup typically lays is the perfect place to make even more comfy after your dog's eye surgery. Add a few pillows and blankets and make sure to keep the lights down low so they aren’t too harsh on your dog's sensitive eyes.
Step
2
Quiet house
Keep the number of people going in and out of your house to a minimum. This probably isn't the best time to throw a party or invite a group of people over to watch a sporting event. The less activity in the house the better. Your dog will be happier with just their close family nearby as they recover.
Step
3
Extra love
Give your dog lots of love and attention after their eye surgery. While your dog may feel just fine, they still went through a medical procedure so extra cuddles are necessary! Lay down next to your dog and give them extra pets and snuggles to make them feel safe and happy.
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Gentle Games

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
30 min
Items needed
Toys
Treats
Activity description

While your dog may not feel like moving around too much after eye surgery, they will still need to be mentally stimulated to prevent boredom. Many of your dog's favorite go-to games may be off the table after surgery (you can't expect your dog to play their best game of fetch when they are having a tough time seeing the ball!) so try one of these easier options. All of these games are low key yet still fun for your pup to try. In fact, most of these games can be played laying down! Your pup can relax their body while enticing their mind with a fun new challenge. 

Step
1
Kong popsicle
Place some peanut butter inside a Kong and then freeze it for a few hours or until it is solid (you can also melt some cheese inside a Kong using the microwave and then freeze it). Bring the Kong treat over to where your dog is resting and let them lick the Kong clean - a nice, calm, treat motivated game!
Step
2
Puzzle toy
Buy your pup a puzzle toy where dog treats are hidden inside a puzzle that your dog has to decipher. Your dog will love working toward opening the puzzle to retrieve the treats inside. These can be very mentally challenging for a dog but require little physical activity.
Step
3
Favorite treats
Discover your dog's favorite treats by placing three different treats under plastic cups, one treat per cup. See which treat your dog chooses first. Set the game up again and see if your pup chooses the same cup or treat each time. This is perfect for dogs after eye surgery when their sense of smell is heightened.
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Nose Work

Popular
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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
30 min
Items needed
Toys
Essential Oils
Activity description

After eye surgery, your dog's sense of smell may be better than it ever has been before. This is because when one sense is lacking, the other senses pick up the slack - how cool is that?! Now that your dog is equipped with a super sniffer, why not put this superior nose to work? Train your dog to learn certain smells and also new commands. This is an endless game as there are always new smells and objects to learn so even once your pup has made a full recovery, you can continue to play this game anytime you'd like! 

Step
1
Choose a scent and toy
Begin by picking a scent you'd like your dog to learn. While you can choose this based on a specific purpose (you want to train your dog to smell and find their tennis ball upon command), you can also just choose a scent for fun. Many people use target scents like clove, anise or birch which all smell strongly.
Step
2
Make things smell
Place the scent on an object. For example, grab some essential oils and put a drop or two of clove oil on your dog's tennis ball. Now, your pup will associate this scent with their ball. Let your dog sniff the ball and then hide it well. Give your dog a command such as "find your ball" and then let them search!
Step
3
More smells!
Introduce your dog to a variety of new scents. Try to keep each scent associated with just one object. If you used clove to be connected to a tennis ball, try birch oil to be associated with your dog's rope toy. These strong scents will be simple for your pup to find and then, in turn, they will easily be able to find objects upon your command. Your dog will never lose that tennis ball or rope toy again! If you are hesitant to use oils, check with your veterinarian first, before giving them a try.
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More Fun Ideas...

Get Outside

While your dog may not be ready for a long walk, they will definitely benefit from some fresh air. Bring your dog out in a doggy stroller or for a quick car ride with the windows rolled down just a little way. The sights and smells will certainly boost their spirits!

Leash Time

After surgery, you want to keep your dog on the leash at all times. Even if you are just bringing your dog into your own backyard, keep them on the leash. You don't want your dog rubbing their eyes on the ground outside!

Conclusion

After your dog has eye surgery, it can be tough especially at first to find games for your dog to play. Your heart is probably aching to see your dog subdued after surgery so you want to do everything you can to make this time easy and fun. Keep your house cozy and quiet, play a few easy games with your dog and teach them a new skill using their amped up sense of smell. Your dog will be on the mend soon enough and the hardship of the surgery will be over. Then the real play can begin again!