Activities For Dogs With Folliculitis

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Introduction

If your beloved pooch suffers from folliculitis, you will be well aware of the challenge every day can be. While every pet owner wants their animal to be happy and healthy, a condition such as folliculitis can make every day a battle to stop the irritation. Folliculitis is a hair follicle infection. It’s caused by bacteria in your dog’s hair follicles, but can also be a sign of a skin disorder or immune system issue. A trip to the vet can help to diagnose and treat the problem, but you can do your part as well by making sure they’re entirely distracted from the itching, swelling, pimples, and infection. Here’s how to give your pups the time of their life while diverting their attention away from their skin irritation. 

Food Stuffer Toy

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
30 min
Items needed
Food stuffer toy
Treats
Activity description

Diverting your dog’s attention away from their constant itching and scratching can be challenging, but with a food stuffer toy, it’s not impossible. While the initial outlay of the toy can be a little pricey, it can provide hours of indoor entertainment for your dog, while delivering a delicious snack at the same time. You can use a food stuffer toy in all weather, but if grass irritates your dog’s folliculitis, it’s also the perfect indoor activity as well. What’s more, if you fill it with mashed potato or peanut butter, they won’t lose focus until they devour every last morsel. It’s an activity that certainly ticks all the boxes for a dog with a skin condition such as folliculitis. 

Step
1
Buy the correct toy
There are many different toys for dogs on the market that enable you to put food inside. If your dog is a tough chewer, you’re best to opt for hard rubber food stuffer toys they can’t destroy in seconds. It’s also helpful to select one that’s the right size for their mouth. A smaller dog will only need a small toy, whereas a larger dog can benefit from one a little more substantial.
Step
2
Put delicious food in the toy
If your dog has folliculitis, they will continually be distracted by the need to itch. If given the opportunity, however, they run the risk of making their condition that much worse. Therefore, adding food to a toy that they will find challenging to remove is the better option. Add mashed potato, peanut butter, cottage cheese, mashed banana or ground meat to the toy and watch as they’re instantly distracted from their skin irritation.
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Treasure Hunt

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Treats
Toys
Activity description

If you’re trying to limit your dog’s irritation and stimulate their mind, then playing treasure hunt is the perfect way to do it. Dogs with folliculitis tend to spend a lot of time trying to scratch that itch, but if you offer interactive activities such as treasure hunts that give them something else to focus on, you’re helping them to not only have fun but to stop irritating their skin as well. You can do a treasure hunt inside or in your yard, and aside from purchasing yummy treats for them to find, you can use a lot of their favorite toys as well.  

Step
1
Gather your items to hide
Take a moment to think about everything your furry friend loves. Is it that stuffed toy with the chewed ear they never let out of their sight? Or can they smell their favorite meaty treat a mile away? You will know your dog best, so make sure you have plenty of items you know your pup will love and will enjoy trying to find. Gather items such as balls, chew bones, squeaky toys, dog biscuits, or even their favorite Frisbee.
Step
2
Hide the items
As a dog owner, you will know your dog will follow you around like a shadow. Therefore, you need to pick your time wisely. Once your dog heads outside for a sniff around, take the time to walk around the house “hiding” their favorite items. Don’t make them too hard to find as hiding in plain sight is best. Choose places such as their bed, their favorite sunny spot, under the couch cushion, under their snuggle blanket, or even in their kennel. Your dog will smell out all the treats, so make the non-edibles the easiest items to find.
Step
3
Let the hunt begin!
A dog with bouts of folliculitis needs a lot of supervision to stop them from irritating their sores, so a treasure hunt is not something you want to let them do alone. But, you hardly want to miss out on the fun either! “Guide” your pet around the house, using your excitable tone, and help them to “find” those hidden items. Within a few finds, your furry friend will have got the gist of it, and will gladly hunt around the house trying to find what you’ve hidden.
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Interactive Puzzles

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Any Day
Moderate
Hard
30 min
Items needed
Kibble
Interactive puzzles
Activity description

If your dog has folliculitis, trying to keep them entertained and irritation-free is nearly impossible. You can’t keep your eye on them at every moment, and making them wear a cone all the time isn’t much fun for you or the dog. To keep them focused for at least an hour each day while treating them at the same time, you can invest in interactive puzzles. Just like humans, animals thrive on mental stimulation, and your dog will love the battle of not being outsmarted by a toy. 

Step
1
Select a puzzle
Your local pet store is sure to have a range of interactive toys that will keep your dog entertained for hours. However, if you have no luck around town, there are also options aplenty online. An interactive toy is one that makes your dog work for the reward. It might be a series of lids the dog has to lift to remove the treat, or it could even be levers and handles they have to move with their nose or hit with their paws. The trick is to baffle your dog, making them have to work hard and focus on getting that much-desired treat.
Step
2
Insert the treats sparingly
Treats for dogs are a “sometimes” food, so when you go to insert treats into the puzzle, make sure you use them sparingly. However, if you opt for regular kibble, you can deduct the amount you use from their dinner at the end of the day to avoid overfeeding them. When you insert treats, make sure they’re in areas the dog has to work hard to access. Keep all lids of the puzzle down, and give your dog more of a challenge by changing the puzzles you give them on a regular basis.
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More Fun Ideas...

Car Rides

Not all dogs love going for a ride in the car, but you’ll be surprised at how many that do. If your dog’s tail goes a hundred miles a minute every time you grab your car keys, then a car ride can be all it takes to put them in a good mood. They can enjoy putting their head out the window, looking at other dogs passing by, and taking in the sights, smells, and sounds as well. While your home and yard are sure to provide a significant amount of stimulation, a simple car ride can be the icing on the cake. 

Walks

After all the fun and exciting interaction you provide your dog at home, sometimes a simple walk around town can be enough to stimulate your dog and distract them from their itching. Your dog will enjoy going for a walk in all weather, and it’s a fun and free way in which to get them out of the house and provide them with their regular dose of exercise. 

Conclusion

There is no single reason why a dog gets folliculitis, an infection of the hair follicles. It’s more prevalent in breeds such as Boxers and Spaniels, but it can affect short, medium, and long-haired pooches as well. Aside from conventional vet treatment, you can do your part by providing them with fun activities to help them forget just how much of a ruff day they’ve been having.