Activities For Dogs After Hernia Surgery

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Introduction

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. 

Stuffed KONG

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Any Day
Free
Easy
10 - 30 min
Items needed
KONG toy or food dispensing toy
Treats
Activity description

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. 

Step
1
Choose a toy to use
If you want to keep your dog busy during their recovery, you will have to entertain them. By using a food-dispensing toy or a KONG toy, you can give your dog a challenge before they can eat. Choose which type of toy you would like to use for this activity and prepare it.
Step
2
Fill the toy with treats
Once you have chosen the toy that you will use, fill the toy up with dog food or treats. Food dispensing toys are usually filled with dog food or dog treats. Make sure to pick the ones that your dog really likes so that they will be eager to play. For KONG toys, you may choose to fill it up with some treats or even some peanut butter. For an added challenge, you may fill the KONG up with frozen broth.
Step
3
Get your dog busy!
After you have filled up the toy with some doggie treats, give the toy to your dog and watch as they try their hardest to retrieve and eat the treats. Aside from the mental stimulation, your dog also gets to fight off the boredom caused by being sedentary during post-surgery recovery.
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Nose Games

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
10 - 30 min
Items needed
Treats
Activity description

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. 

Step
1
Start simple
There are so many simple but stimulating nose games that you can work on with your dog. However, try to stick to one game at a time to avoid confusing your dog. Start with something basic such as the “which hand” game. With your dog facing you, place your hands in front of your dog with one holding the treat. Then, close both hands into a fist and let your dog pick. If your dog picks the right hand, give the treat to your dog.
Step
2
Change things up
Be sure to change things up in order to get your dog’s mental engine running. For instance, you can hide your hands behind your back when hiding the treat. Let your dog use their sense of smell to sniff out which hand is holding the treat. You can also try other games such as hiding treats around a certain area of the house and getting your dog to find the treats. Just make sure that the treats are easy to find and located near each other so that your dog won’t exert too much effort in walking around.
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Host a Play Date

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0 Votes
Any Day
Cheap
Easy
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
Treats
Food
Water
Activity description
If your dog cannot come to the party, then why not bring the party to your dog? A play date is an ideal activity for dogs who have just gone through hernia surgery, or any other surgery for that matter. By hosting a play date, your dog gets the opportunity to see new faces after being stuck at home for some time. It is also a chance for your dog to socialize with other pups. It can be heartwarming to witness your dog being energetic and lively, especially after going through a major surgical operation. Just make sure to have enough food, water and treats for everybody!
Step
1
Pick the right playmate
The key to a successful doggie play date lies in its participants; the dogs involved should be able to mesh well and get along with each other. In general, dog owners like to pair up dogs who are about the same size, age and temperaments. In this case, however, you need to choose a playmate that is not too energetic or aggressive to prevent any risks on your recovering pooch.
Step
2
Get the dogs busy
During the play date, let the dogs sniff each other out and allow them to get to spend time with each other to see how they get along. Prepare some toys in the play area; some good toy options are tennis balls, ropes and puzzle games. Have some food and water ready in case any of the dogs get hungry or thirsty. Most importantly, keep an eye out for your dog and check for signs of discomfort. Remember that your dog is in recovery phase so make sure that they will not go overboard with playing and moving around.
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More Fun Ideas...

Doggie massage

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. 

Give Your Dog a View

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. 

Conclusion

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.