Hip dysplasia is a common condition involving a malformation of the hip socket, where the socket and the ball portion do not align. This is one of the leading causes of arthritis in dogs. Causes of this disease are mainly genetic. While there seems to be no correlation between the condition and the dog’s gender, there are some dog breeds that are more at risk of contracting hip dysplasia. This includes large dog breeds such as German Shepherds, Saint Bernards and Labrador Retrievers. The usual solution to this condition is surgery. If your dog has undergone hip dysplasia surgery, their movement would have to be restricted. However, this does not mean that your dog has to do nothing during the recovery period. Below are some activity ideas for your dog post-surgery.
Swimming is a fun activity that even your dog can enjoy post-surgery. Since hip dysplasia requires little to no walking or running, the next best option is to go for a dip at the pool. Floating around and getting wet will not be strenuous to the hip area and the hind legs. Plus, most dogs have an affinity for water and find it to be relaxing. For your recovering dog, this activity is a chance to get out of the house and recharge after a major operation. This activity is best done when the skies are clear and the sun is out.
When your dog goes through surgery, it is natural for the vet to restrict their physical activity for a speedy recovery. If you cannot keep your dog physically stimulated, you can at least stimulate their mind through puzzle games, which are interactive games design to mentally rouse your dog. These types of games are becoming more and more popular and there are so many varieties to choose from. Swedish designer Nina Ottosson is known for producing a line of puzzle games involving different features and levels of difficulty. These games are a good investment and can keep your dog entertained and occupied while recovering from hip dysplasia surgery.
Dogs are in need of sunlight and exercise, which is why veterinarians usually recommend daily walks. However, when coming from a hip dysplasia surgery, it is often advised that your dog refrains from walking and using their hind legs. Unfortunately, dogs can get bored behind four walls and the need to stay in can put them under some stress. If you want to let your dog out without compromising their health and recovery, the best solution is to use a pet stroller. These are just like the regular strollers for babies but made for dogs and are widely available in pet stores. By using a stroller, your dog can enjoy the sights outside without having to walk.
If your dog cannot go out to play, why not bring the play to your home instead? If your dog is feeling lonely and need of companionship, it might be best to host a play date. Contact any of your pet owner friends or even your neighbors and organize a doggy play date. This activity is a great way for your dog to bond with other canine pals while still on recovery mode. Monitoring the pair at all times will be necessary though, as running and playing are not permitted.
Pet water therapy, particularly underwater treadmill, is slowly becoming a widely-accepted pet rehabilitation method. By using water’s therapeutic properties, aquatic therapy can help strengthen muscles, develop range of motion and improve endurance. But, more importantly, this activity is low risk. A post-surgery dog is a great candidate for aquatic therapy. All you have to do is consult a veterinary clinic or pet rehabilitation center and let them do the work for you.
Who doesn’t love a good massage? Your dog can surely use a post-surgery massage to help them relax. A good massage can have a calming effect on your pup. Caress the ears of your dog and move down to the neck and back. Be careful not to put too much pressure and to avoid the area where the surgery was done. Not only does a massage help sooth your dog, it also gives your dog a sense of being cared for and loved.
Going through a serious operation such as hip dysplasia surgery can initially be tough on both you and your dog. The main priority after surgery is a full and speedy recovery, which is why restricted activity is recommended. Fortunately, your dog can take part in the aforementioned activities in order to fight off boredom while recovering from the operation.