When you take away your dog's exercise, you have to make sure their minds stay active while they are on crate rest. If they are left alone, and without anything to actively engage their minds, they may develop depression, anxiety, or nervous habits that make healing more difficult. Chew toys and puzzle toys that unlock treats and kibble are excellent ways to actively engage your dog while you cannot be with them full time. If your dog has never had a reward-based toy, there may be a learning curve. Be sure you are monitoring your dog's food and water intake during their crate rest to ensure they are getting enough of both. Keeping your dog healthy is critical while they are healing.
Your dog will most likely feel confused and possibly depressed the longer they stay in confinement in their crate. You can let your dog out while you’re home and able to give your dog your full attention and one of the best activities for the both of you is cuddling. You can cuddle at any time and in any weather condition since this activity is done indoors. Cuddling is, as always, free and it brings a lot of joy to both you and your dog. After a long day at the office and a long day of confinement, both you and your dog will find comfort in the moments you spend on the couch, watching your favorite show or movie. You do not need a blanket for this activity, but it does not hurt to have a soft one nearby for cuddling.
Going for a stroll to get some fresh air while on crate rest may seem like going against the veterinarian’s order, but it is not if you don’t let your dog walk. Smaller dogs have the advantage when it comes to strolling because they can either be held or placed in a pet stroller. Going outside is beneficial for your dog while they are on crate rest because they have the opportunity to see new sights and smell new smells. You want to have a leash and harness on your dog, even though they are in a pet stroller. This will keep them safe at all times and prevent them from running off if they are able to get loose. For larger dogs, you will need a wagon, a blanket, and a second walking companion to keep a close eye and hand on your dog. Generally, you want to take in the fresh air on pleasant, sunny days so you dog can experience the best the outdoors has to offer them. This activity can also be moderately expensive because you will have to buy a pet stroller, or in the case of larger dogs, a wagon.
Your dog will need a lot of attention, including pets, pats, and rubs. Giving your dog massages will communicate love to them and help then cope with their current situation. However, be sure to ask your veterinarian first about how to handle your dog and where not to touch.
A dog on crate rest has an active mind and needs more mental stimulation to make up for the lack of physical exertion. Practicing tricks like paw, ears up, and lick nose can help your dog pass the time while stimulating their minds and strengthening your bond.
If our dogs could talk, they would certainly say "crate rest stinks." However, under veterinarian's orders, crate rest is sometimes necessary and hopefully temporary for our canine companions. No matter how much it breaks your heart, you must follow orders, but you can make it easier on your dog by providing them with plenty of mental stimulation as well as emotional support through frequent cuddles, pats, and as much time out of the crate as possible. Always make sure your dog's activities align with what you veterinarian requires for your dog and hopefully your pooch will be back their normal self and running amuck in the backyard again soon.