A hernia is defined as a tear in the walls of a muscle, allowing fatty tissue or internal organs to protrude. Contrary to popular belief, dogs can also suffer from this condition and can either be congenital or caused by an injury or trauma. There are five common kinds of hernias that are found in dogs, namely: umbilical (protrusion in the belly button), inguinal (groin area), perineal (pelvis tear), diaphragmatic (diaphragm tear) and hiatal (abdominal area). Although hernias may be fatal, the good news is that they are treatable, usually via surgery. If your dog has gone through a major hernia surgery, here are some ideas to keep your dog entertained during recovery.
In general, when dogs need to eat, their food is simply handed over by the owners. However, some owners can get really creative when it comes to feeding time, particularly through the use of toys. Dogs love to play with different toys in order to entertain themselves. But nowadays, these doggie toys are no longer just for entertainment; some toys actually serve a purpose. A good example of such toys is the KONG toy. This rubber toy is durable, bounces around and can be stuffed with food or treats for your dog. Food dispensing toys are also a good option to get your dog to “work” for their food.
After hernia surgery, the veterinarian would normally suggest that dogs have little to zero physical movement throughout their recovery. This could be a difficult task for dog owners, given that dogs naturally like to move. If you cannot rouse your dog physically, you can work on mental stimulation instead. Nose games are a great way to mentally challenge your dog and to hone their natural sniffing skills. Even though dogs have an impressive sense of smell, the tricky part is getting your dog to use their scent instead of their sight as a primary sense. There are lots of basic nose work games that you can try with your pup.
Being locked up in the house with limited movement can be boring and lonely, even for dogs. After a major operation such as hernia surgery, limited movement is recommended. To provide your dog with some visual stimulation, choose a spot in your house that has a nice view and place your dog there. Whether it is looking out the window and watching the front yard or getting some sunshine, make sure that your dog gets a prime spot by the window. You may even bring your dog out to the porch and bond together while enjoying the breeze.
Massages are known to improve blood circulation and lower stress. Hence, a doggie massage can be extremely beneficial to your recovering dog. Giving your dog a massage not only helps them relax, it can also help form a stronger and deeper connection between the two of you. Just remember to use light hands and to avoid the area where the surgery was performed.
Recovering from an operation does not have to be boring and depressing for your pooch. Do not let post-hernia surgery blues get your dog down and look at the "paw-sitive" side of things. Through these activities, you can keep your dog busy and entertained, taking their mind off of their resting period. However, your dog’s speedy recovery is still the main priority so make sure that your pooch will not become too overworked.