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Any Ideas For Amusing A Convalescing Dog?


Guest grapecat
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Guest grapecat

As you may know, our 2 1/2 year old dog, Humphrey, broke his leg 11 days ago - a bad break that required an external fixator to set instead of a cast - it's like scaffolding holding 6 pins in place. He is really coming along - no more bandages over the frame now, but he is still supposed to "stay off it" for at least anther week. We have him contained in one end of the living room, but it seems the more he recovers, the more bored he is getting! On the upside, he has now finally learned his "down" command, but we are running out of ways to keep him occupied.

 

We give him Kongs (he was just starting to get the hang of them before the accident) but they don't last forever, and we don't feel we should give him his favourite toys because he tends to go a little manic with him (he has a pink fluffy flamingo that he loves but the way he plays is definitely NOT resting!!)

 

Have any of you had this problem? What did you do? Any suggestions? Kong recipes? It is driving all three of us around the bend!!

 

Below is Humph's take on it all -

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Guest Oh_Greyt

Glad to see he's doing so much better! The leg looks good!

 

I was going to say Kongs, except that you don't want him to gain too much weight since the leg will be weak when the fixture and pins come out... How about some nice, relaxing massages for him? ;)

 

I wonder if you can switch him to a weight control diet... More filling but less calories... I'm thinking this could help cut down the energy? Or just cut back on his food a bit. Since he's not exercising he doesn't need those extra calories - it's just creating energy right now that he's not able to use. Just thinking out loud a bit...

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Guest Cris_M

Just brainstorming here...

 

If you can find a good grey trainer, it might be well worth the money to have a home visit. You could learn lots of tricks/commands that Humphrey would be able to do while injured. The wonderful thing about training is that a lot of mental stimulation can wear out a dog much like a good run.

 

Can he go on car rides? How about meeting new people? Even a trip to the drive-in window at the bank could help if the teller gives him a cookie.

 

Does he have any calm dog buddies that could come for an indoor visit? How about people friends?

 

If you're not opposed to it, this may be a good time to look into raw feeding. A difficult to chew raw meal can last quite a while and wear your dog out.

 

 

One thing that isn't brainstorming -- I found that a schedule really helped Gabriel when he was ill. He learned when we did what fun thing. Anticipating the event -- even if it was just pill time -- helped entertain him and calmed him down because he could trust that the day would hold fun things.

 

After this experience, you will be a pro and can teach us all things!

 

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Guest grapecat
Glad to see he's doing so much better! The leg looks good!

 

I was going to say Kongs, except that you don't want him to gain too much weight since the leg will be weak when the fixture and pins come out... How about some nice, relaxing massages for him? ;)

 

I wonder if you can switch him to a weight control diet... More filling but less calories... I'm thinking this could help cut down the energy? Or just cut back on his food a bit. Since he's not exercising he doesn't need those extra calories - it's just creating energy right now that he's not able to use. Just thinking out loud a bit...

 

 

That's a good idea - we feed him Burns food (we're in the UK) - I think they do a "filler" mix that may be better considering all the other bits we're bribing him with. We've been experimenting with fruit fillings on the kong as well, thinking of calories...

 

Neal, my partner, works from home and spends quite a bit of time in "jail" with him, but for obvious reasons can't do it all the time... it is a frustrating time.

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Guess they don't make "belly rub" machines....unless that would be you. It's hard to keep a bored dog down.

Would it be possible to extend his potty breaks just a few minutes longer each time so it will tire him just a tiny bit.

 

One of ours is recovering from a broken foot..just had her cast off last week after 2 months. She didn't want to do much more than just go out for potty breaks and then she was ready for another nap. Just walking in the yard tired her out.

 

Glad he's doing well.

 

Patti

Mom to BridgeGreys~~STORM 07/99-02/08/11, VICKI 12/15/00-01/12/11, BAY 02/00-10/25/10 and CASHEW 10/99-2/23/10

and cats ~~ IRISH, MUMBLES, MUFFIN, TJ, PUNKIN and Bridge cats SARAH (07/29/97-07/07/06) and BRIE (04/11/96-01/22/12)

a very lively Whippet, OLIVIA and JAKE, the Iggy

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He looks good! Poor Humphrey, he does look as if he's finding life a bit of a burden though. :lol

 

How about a puzzle cube? You know those things? You put bits of kibble, or dog treats into them, and they have to really work at getting them out. It's good mental exercise too, which is almost as good as physical exercise in a case like this. :)

 

Buster Cube

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The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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Guest SillyDog

Does he have any dog friend you could ask to visit? That'd only work if he's ok with them in his current situation. Being sick makes some dogs more aggressive.

 

He looks really good in that pic! Poor guy. I had to do crate rest for one of mine once and it's just a nightmare. They don't understand!

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I second the car rides. Instead of what would be his daily walk, can you load him into the car and drive him around for a half hour or an hour? I would drive through parking lots of strip malls (if you have that sort of thing), somewhere where there will be lots of sights and sounds, and possible some dog lovers to give pets through the window.

 

I also second the raw suggestion. Even if you don't want to go raw, offering raw meaty bones a couple of days a week will do wonders. You just need big meaty pieces that will last some time. If you can find whole necks they're one of my favorites (but whole, not the chopped up bones). A half chicken will also take him some time, or pig's feet.

 

Whatever you're stuffing the kong with, layer some kibble in there and freeze it. That will extend his time. If he's inquisitive enough, you can also wrap it in the towel or two and tie knots (loosely at first) that he has to undo to get to the kong. I'm pretty sure Jean Donaldson's book Culture Clash has some other similar ideas. Meals can also be split into multiple kongs.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Guest grapecat
He looks good! Poor Humphrey, he does look as if he's finding life a bit of a burden though. :lol

 

How about a puzzle cube? You know those things? You put bits of kibble, or dog treats into them, and they have to really work at getting them out. It's good mental exercise too, which is almost as good as physical exercise in a case like this. :)

 

Buster Cube

 

I was looking at these - but it seems they are up on their feet to make it work - he has a round ball that dispenses treats but he chases it around so it wouldn't be resting...

 

Unfortunately with the visitors as well - he just gets so excited he's up on his feet and jumping (he's not allowed to jump up, but he still tries it)

 

though maybe just "walking" around his cordoned off area wouldn't be so bad?

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Guest LolasMom

Kunkle or marrow bones are always a favorite around here (raw). How about the "wait" / "take it" game. "Leave it" for something better. "Drop it" for something better. And "find it" game (maybe under a little pillow near his head). All training commands that can be done in a fun way while he's lying down. If you keep it fun and rewarding not only will he perfect these commands but he'll get tired from thinking so much :grad . If you're concerned about weight gain you can take a portion of his daily food required and use it for treats.

 

If he likes attention I'd start inviting everyone I know over for a little visit and some TLC. :beatheart My girl goes and lays around at a kids hummane society summerschool for 1 and 1/2 hours while they (the kids) learn about retired racers and gets loved for about 1/3 of that time and is always exhausted at the end! She just turned 3! There's something about being the center of all that admiration that can plain tucker a dog out :lol:lol

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There might be some little things you can teach him, that he doesn't have to stand up for. Joseph has learned to "wait" to take a treat from my open hand ... or a treat that's sitting on his foot or just in front of his nose .... sometimes we spice things up by telling him to "Watch me!" and rewarding with a treat from the other hand .... he *never* gets tired of this game ..... Zema plays a game where she finds cookies hidden under cups or washcloths right in front of her, but that might be harder.

 

Hugs.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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If it's okay for him to walk around a little, could you "hide" some treats (or kibble) on the edges of furniture, and other easy places. Then let him into the room, and let him wander around finding all the surprises. This was a rainy-day game we played with our first dog (a lab mix) but Nora isn't as food motivated, so the "hiding" has to be pretty obvious, or she'll just lay down and go back to sleep!

 

What about doggie-movies? Does he respond to the TV ever? If so, you could rent him a wolf documentary, even just for the sounds.

 

And the doggie-massage might be a great thing--in the winter, Nora's paws get all cracked up, so we spend time trimming her nails and rubbing udder balm into each of her pads, and she LOVES it! Then she sleeps some more. . .

"Mrs. Bass was a poor teacher, a phrase which here does not mean "a teacher who doesn't have a lot of money" but "a teacher who is obsessed with the metric system." --Lemony Snicket

 

"Do you want to convert from the hydrocarbon economy to the carbohydrate economy?" --Rep. Jim Oberstar

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Perhaps you could teach him my dog Doc's party trick - 'Hunt the Treat', the canine version of the old 'Spot the Lady' card rig. Put three overturned cups or similar (I use small tart tins) in front of his bed, show him which one you're hiding the treat under, then whiz them round and round and let him find the treat for himself. If it's cheese it's easy to sniff out!

 

I second the suggestion about human or dog visitors if he's sociable by nature but doesn't get too excited by them, also does he enjoy music? Doc loves to lie listening to music and even has some favourite CDs, mostly for some reason ones featuring male classical vocalists! Or you could try just leaving the radio on, as people do for separation anxiety - Classic FM or a talk station would probably be the most soothing.

Clare with Tiger (Snapper Gar, b. 18/05/2015), and remembering Ken (Boomtown Ken, 01/05/2011-21/02/2020) and Doc (Barefoot Doctor, 20/08/2001-15/04/2015).

"It is also to be noted of every species, that the handsomest of each move best ... and beasts of the most elegant form, always excel in speed; of this, the horse and greyhound are beautiful examples."----Wiliam Hogarth, The Analysis of Beauty, 1753.

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Email me at retiredracers @ msn . com (no spaces) and I can email an article to you that is all about keeping a restricted dog happy.

Elphie, Kulee, Amanda, Harmony, Alex (hound mix), Phantom, Norbet, Willis (dsh), Autumn (Siamese) & Max (OSH) & mama rat, LaLa & baby Poppy! My bridge kids: Crooke & Mouse (always in my heart), Flake, Buzz, Snake, Prince (GSD), Justin & Gentry (Siamese), Belle (Aussie/Dalmatian mix), Rupert (amstaff) and Fred, Sirius, Severus, Albus, George, Hagrid, Hermione, Minerva, Marilyn, Wren, Molly, Luna, Tonks, Fleur, Ginny, Neville, Bill, Percy, Rose & Charlie (rats)

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