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November 14, 2012

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

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!

Comments for Injured Pets: A Survival Guide

  1. Tiffany F. says:

    I love the photo of Eko with the ice pack! Too funny.He’ll be up and running again in no time, literally! =)

  2. Evelyne says:

    🙂 I won’t say ‘I told you so’ but… oops! I just did!!! 😀

    Oh, isn’t internet age the best thing ever? With the help and tip from your readers you created a lot of fun for Eko, while still observing the rest recommendation, and this will surely help him heal faster too. Good spirits are half of the work when it comes to healing the body…

  3. I’m glad the frozen Kongs are helping!

  4. love how you are making the best out of a not-so-great situation….You are a great “doggy Daddy!” Thanks for the frozen treat idea. I need to try that…cardboard too!

  5. Our 6 month old pup is insanely clever and figures out her puzzle toys in no time at all! We find that a strict regimen of toy rotation keeps her more interested in them….they stay hidden the rest of the time. Sometimes, though, we put them all in a box in the middle of the floor and she goes through them one by one 🙂 Teaching dogs the difference between the toys can be very mentally challenging too – we’ve been teaching her how to pick out a ball using some clicker training. Sometimes she finds that a bit tough and goes to flop down somewhere to rest her weary brain 🙂

  6. Marcela says:

    Lol. I hope he gets well soon. Try nylabones. Some dogs love them:)

  7. He is so adorable! I can only imagine how stir crazy he must be getting, he’s lucky to have you around to entertain him. =)

  8. Eko might like the challenge of one of those 10,000 piece jigsaw puzzles to help pass the time. If he gets frustrated with the puzzle, he will still have 10,000 pieces of cardboard to chew up.

  9. aud says:

    Cardboard boxes are a must, how about getting some from the grocery stores? ones that the meat dept have used? Eko could learn the different scent of each box and figures out what was in it.

  10. Jorie says:

    Eko wearing the ice pack! You have the most photogenic, patient dog in the world. Hope he is back to 100% soon!

  11. Thank goodness this didn’t happen mid summer when you and Eko have so many fab things to do. That Ice pack is so retro…I haven’t seen one forever. Loved all the photos and your post too, Feel better Eko!

  12. that’s avery good idea with the frozen kong thanks and best wishes to Eko ;o)

  13. Great ideas – you really redirected Eko’s attention off his woes and onto more fun activities! 😀

  14. Alyssa says:

    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!

  15. onebluedog says:

    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…

  16. Joyce says:

    Just give him lots of extra loving! Love heals everything! Get well soon cute puppy (abd cute owner!) LOL

  17. Dawn L. says:

    Eko , you are adorable! Hope you feel better soon.

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