Bed Rest for Your Dog

Maybe your dog was just neutered. Maybe he just started treatment for heartworm. Maybe he has some stitches he needs to let heal. No matter why your dog was put on activity restrictions, it’s your job to make sure he doesn’t race down the driveway, jump onto the bed, or tumble down the stairs.

Now the hard part–how?

  • Are there any calm activities that your dog enjoys? Riding in the car, watching TV, and just looking out the window are a just a few limited-movement things that your dog can do. Running to pick up dinner at a drive through? Take your dog along. Need to be gone for a few hours? Turn the TV on or put on some music for your pup.
  • Brush up on sit, stay, and speak. Have you been waiting to have enough time to work on your dog’s manners? Now that he needs to stay quiet, use that time to work on some training. You might not be able to exercise his legs, but you can exercise his mind.
  • Give your dog something extra to do at mealtime. Hide his kibble throughout the house for a tasty game of hide and seek, or put it in a puzzle toy to give his brain a workout. Treat puzzle toys are sturdy containers that hide treats or kibble that your dog can get out by sliding toy parts, shaking, or pawing. Many dogs also love simple Kongs stuffed with yogurt and their kibble–freeze it for an extra challenge.
  • Keep walks if you can, just keep walks shorter. Depending on why your dog was put on leash restrictions, you might still be able to walk your dog–just no jogging. Talk to your vet if you’re unsure. If you want to get your pet outside and he shouldn’t be walking, consider a closed bike trailer or pet stroller.
  • If your dog really wants to share the bed with you at night, but shouldn’t be jumping up, consider adding some pet stairs, or make up a cozy bed for him on the floor right next to you. If he has a kennel to sleep in, consider letting him there instead for a little while.

Any dog is happy to spend his time with us, so while your dog needs to be cooped up, give him some extra snuggles and spend some extra time at home, just hanging out with him. Some extra snuggles definitely won’t hurt the healing process.

By Rachel Leisemann Immel