If your dog is a couch potato, taking a few days off because you’re sick or injured is really not a big deal but for those of us who own a high energy dog, a few days off can mean that while we’re getting some much needed rest, our dog has to be crated for fear he’ll harm himself while destroying the house.
For a prolonged illness, injury or disability, finding a way to provide our dogs with the physical and mental stimulation that they need even becomes more of an issue and is vital to our being able to keep our dogs happy and safe at home.
No matter what your reason for not being as active as you’d like to be, there are ways you can exercise your dog and provide mental stimulation while you’re on the mend or if permanently disabled.
As silly as it may sound bubbles are a safe, non toxic form of fun for your dog to chase around the yard while you sit and rest. If there is a breeze, even better!
If you dog is a fan of tug and you are unable to stand and play, you can make a tease pole with a tug attached to it so that you can swing the tug.
If you don’t feel up to swinging, place a rope through a Kong and tie it off on one end. Stuff the Kong with something enticing then tie the other end of the rope to something very sturdy. Allow you dog to tug the Kong until he tires himself out.
For dogs that love to retrieve, consider purchasing an electronic ball launcher that will keep your dog fetching ball after ball while you’re not feeling well.
If you are up to going outside, throwing a Frisbee is not as taxing as most games since they are light weight and relatively easy to throw.
While sitting in your yard, toss a ball to your dog. If you can’t throw far, toss it just enough for your dog to catch it.
Dog Food Puzzles
Feeding your dog from a food puzzle that requires some work is a good way to burn off some energy while engaging the mind.
Teach your dog to walk on a treadmill. There are dog treadmills in a variety of sizes and in many price ranges. A treadmill is well worth the investment if you have a chronic illness or injury that keeps you from getting out with your dog on walks.
Teach your dog to touch a target such as your hand or a target stick. Eventually you will be able to teach her turn on and off lights, jump up and down, many tricks that will help keep her busy.
Teach your Dog to Search for Things
Teaching your dog to search for things in the house is a great way to keep him busy and does not require too much physical endurance.
Arrange for a Weekly Dog Walker
Arranging for a weekly dog walker to come and help can make a huge difference in your dog’s behavior as well as give you peace of mind. If hiring someone to walk your dog is not in the budget, an even better alternative is to ask family and friends who would not mind rotating do it for free. If they are not into dog walking, even stopping by to play fetch with your dog would be a tremendous help.
Board and Train
If your illness or injury will require a hospitalization or significant down time, consider sending your dog to a reputable board and train center to teach her new things while providing plenty of exercise.