Injured Pets: A Survival Guide

When our pets are sick or injured everyone knows that the first place you go is the vet’s office.  The vet usually sends you home with medicine and a treatment/rehab plan to nurse your four-legged buddy back to health.  And while pets are the best and most loyal companions, they make the worst patients!  That means it falls to us to make sure our pets follow doctor’s orders.

In Eko’s case, doctor’s orders are to rest as much as possible.  Eko is pretty well trained, but not even he will listen to a “stay” command for twelve hours.  Eko is also pretty well behaved, but after four days of inactivity he started going stir crazy. One of my sandals was the first victim of his frustrations, but I knew it wouldn’t be the last.  With help from readers, I put together a list of some of the most effective ways I have found to save my apartment and my sanity while Eko recovers.

Rhodesian Ridgeback, pet adventure

#1: Puzzles – As a number of readers attested, mental effort can make your pet just as tired as physical effort.  I stuffed Eko’s favorite treat puzzle with hard to remove treats that make him really  work for his reward.  It keeps him busy, happy and quiet

Rhodesian Ridgeback, dog blog

#2: Focus training – Eko has all the basic commands nailed, so now I make him work on his balancing tricks.  They require a different type of mental/physical focus that help to wear him out.  Balancing the toy on his head is too easy though, so we had to step up the difficulty!

Rhodesian Ridgeback, pet adventure, pet blog

Thirty seconds of delicious torture for Eko, but his efforts were well rewarded

Rhodesian Ridgeback, dog adventure

#3: Frozen Treats – A fellow blogger, Emily, highly recommended frozen treats as a way to keep Eko occupied.  I froze some of Eko’s favorite treats inside a Kong and it kept him at work for the better part of an hour.  Thanks for the tip!

Rhodesian Ridgeback, pet adventure

#4: Cardboard is your best friend – Frustrated pups are inclined to tear stuff up, so focusing that energy towards cardboard (and away from everything else) is a great way to keep your home in one piece.  Sure, my apartment now looks like a cardboard graveyard, but I much prefer that to the alternative

Rhodesian Ridgeback, dog blog, pet blog

#5: A sense of humor – If you can laugh at misfortune it makes it that much easier to deal with!  A number of people have asked how the “patient” is, so I responded with the above photo.  Will a hospital gown, an ice pack and an ace bandage on the wrong paw help Eko heal faster?  Of course not, but hamming it up sure helps pass the time!

Rhodesian Ridgeback, pet adventure

And it doesn’t hurt to have a warm fire to curl up next to!

Thanks again to everyone for the well wishes and the great ideas to keep Eko entertained.  It will still be a while before Eko’s back to 100%, so if you have any other helpful tips from your own experience, be sure to let me know!

20 Comments

What a good pup Eko is to let that delicious treat just sit on his nose! And it looks like you are doing a really good job of finding lots of fun things for him to do 🙂 Maybe rest time is more exciting than I thought…

Love your blog and seeing pictures of Eko! My black lab puppy mix, Elli, loves her red Kong puzzle ball! Good luck keeping your apartment in one piece!

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