Activities For Dogs With Canine Influenza Virus

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Introduction

Canine influenza is a virus that occurs in canines. The influenza virus can wreak havoc on a dog, and, quite frankly, cause a miserable feeling. There are several types of the influenza virus that tend to show up throughout the subsequent flu seasons, and some are worse than others. Only a veterinarian can assess a dog and tell the owner what type of canine influenza a dog may be suffering from. It is contagious, meaning it can spread from one dog to another. When a dog has this virus, it is important to keep them in and away from other dogs, which can be hard if there is more than one dog in the home. Even if your dog is feeling down, there are some things you can still do with your dog to stimulate their mind.

Time to Train

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Any Day
Free
Normal
15 min
Items needed
Treats
Activity description

When dogs are down and out with the flu, they must rest. They shouldn't run, jump, and walk for long periods of time. You can, however, work on your dog’s skills such as sitting, staying, heeling, and shaking paw. These training skills do not take a lot of physical energy, but they do need mental energy which can also give your dog a welcomed workout, just in a different way. You may know of other commands you would like to teach your dog, and you may be able to take advantage of the down time to do it, if your dog is able.

Step
1
Know your commands
Think of a command you would like to teach or review with your dog. Focus on that one command for a few days by spending time with your sick fella each day. Be sure it does not overexert your dog. Most simple commands will not.
Step
2
Practice makes perfect
Practice makes perfect! Be sure to praise your dog each time and give a treat or a nice, big cuddle! Be sure to give your dog time to rest. Practicing a command for fifteen minutes in the afternoon and once again in the evening will provide training without boring your pup. You may also choose just the morning time to do any training; it depends on your schedule.
Step
3
Change the environment
You may also wish take your companion outside a bit, weather permitting, to give your dog new scenery. Changing up the environment will help! This is where you may choose to introduce a new command, such as walking on a leash. You and your dog will also get some fresh air, which is really good for the soul. Good luck!
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Toy Rotation

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Any Day
Moderate
Easy
2 hrs
Items needed
Various purchased new toys
Activity description

Rotating toys can be something your dog may enjoy when they have been rested and seem to have a bit of cabin fever. Consider buying four new toys for them, and make them all unique. Each day, introduce a toy to them and then start again on day five. This may keep your dog stimulated a bit. Purchase types of toys that they have never had and be sure they are of unique textures and sizes. You may be surprised at how your dog, even with the flu, will respond to the new item.

Step
1
Decisions, decisions
Purchase four or five new dog toys or chews that your dog may enjoy. You know your dog better than anyone! If your dog is resting, your dog may not like the loud, squeaky toys, but then again, you know your dog! Soft cuddly toys may be in the mix, as well as a chew toy that is tender on their gums and teeth.
Step
2
Change it up
Each day, take one toy away and introduce a new one. You can put it in your dog’s crate (if that is where they are resting) or close to your dog, wherever they are spending most of the day. Your dog may not really pay attention at first, since your dog is under the weather, but all may be okay in a day or two. It may take a few days for your dog to show interest, so you may not need to rotate each day.
Step
3
Repeat
After rotating the various toys for four or five days, go back to day one and give your dog the toy he had on…you guessed it…day one. Rotation of toys can be an activity that gives your dog something to look forward to as they lay low and recover. Be sure to wash and store each toy after use, so that it is clean and germ free for the next use.
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Stimulate Sense of Smell

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Any Day
Moderate
Easy
24 hrs
Items needed
Various aromatherapy oils
Activity description

When dogs are exposed to scents, the effects can stimulate their senses. Just like aromatherapy for humans, relaxing scents of different types can make a dog feel at ease. When your dog is resting, placing a few drops of orange or lemon extract nearby will help your dog feel a little energized. Try lavender or vanilla to relax them. Change the scent each day, and only put a few drops on the floor or in a diffuser. Do not put the drops directly on your dog or in their crate. And of course, do not put them anywhere where they can ingest them!

Step
1
Research and purchase
Purchase a few common aromatherapy scents for relaxation or for giving energy. You will want to research the best for your dog and their needs. Consulting your pet's veterinarian is suggested, too. Common aromatherapy scents for relaxation are lavender and cedarwood. Common scents for energizing are orange and rosemary. There are even more to choose from, depending on your sense of smell and what you think is best.
Step
2
Add a few drops
Put a few drops on the floor close to where your dog is resting. Or, you may add a few drops into a diffuser. Be sure to not put the oils directly on your dog or too close to him. Your dog has a great sense of smell, so a few drops within range will be adequate.
Step
3
Change them up
Change up the scents every few days, or even every day. You may not “see” it, but aromatherapy can work wonders on anyone’s, including your dog’s, well-being! See if it works on you! If you can see a difference, then your dog may be feeling it as well. Essential oils and hydrosols do have benefits, but due to the sensitivity of animals to many of the products we may think are safe, it is best to consult a professional in the field in order to achieve the safest results.
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More Fun Ideas...

Hall Ball

In the hallway, or in a room, roll a ball towards your dog. Your dog may pick it up and bring it back to you, and you can do it again and again for some stimulation. It is a gentle activity for dogs with the flu.

Comfy Bed

A cooling blanket or mat, which can be purchased online, can create a cool resting place for you dog. It is still cozy, and you can add a few blankets, and if your dog has a fever it may help your dog rest easier. Monitor your pet as they rest, and if they seem as if they have had enough, it's time to move to another bed.

Conclusion

Just because your dog is down with the flu doesn’t mean you cannot provide activities to make your dog think. When your pup has the flu they may not feel like doing much, but when a dog has had rest and becomes restless, these activities not only help pass the time, they teach your dog new skills as well!