Mental & Physical Health in Dogs: about Dog Toys and making Dog Food
If your dog gets in a situation in which he is not able and/or allowed to exercise (e.g. run, play, jump) you will want to think of other ways to exercise your dog. Dogs need physical exercise to stay physically but also mentally healthy. Running around, sniffing and exploring are all ways your dog keeps engaged with the environment. It keeps them busy and alive. Without physical exercise, your dog soon will get bored and/or develop nasty habits to pass the time.
After Bobby’s surgery he was not allowed to run, play or jump. We were not allowed to have walks longer than 10 minutes which was very difficult to adjust to. Bobby loves being outside and having long walks. He is used to walking 3 hours a day (on the weekends even longer) so he really did not understand why we would have such short walks. Right after the surgery, he was not strong enough to walk longer, even though he wanted it really badly. His leg hurt too much and he was soon out of breath. The painkillers and antibiotics had a negative effect on his well-being, too although they did help a lot of course. Giving your dog enough rest is very important after surgery. The more your dog will move the more the stitches will get irritated and the longer it will take to heal.
But how do you keep your dog happy and healthy without physical exercise? The answer is simple: mental exercise! Mental exercise is as important as physical exercise. Some people might forget the mental aspect and think that having a big house or a big garden is enough to keep the dog happy. However, a big garden is just that – a big garden nothing more or less. It is what you do with the big garden or house that makes it interesting for your dog. Your dog probably has spent months, years in this house/garden and knows it by heart. Mentally exercising your dog implies you being active, too. Think of a fun game to play, hide snacks in the house or the garden or make a game such as a “Snuffelmat” where you hide tasty treats for your dog to find (see video below if you are not familiar with it).
Do some obedience exercises that are not too active to keep your dog busy. Obedience exercises are also mentally challenging and can tire your dog out quickly. Search for some tricks on the internet you both can learn and that are not too demanding for your recovering dog. You can also buy some intelligence toys and play together with your dog. As long as it keeps your dog busy whilst allowing him to recover – just do it!
A few weeks ago I gave it a try and bought two intelligence toys for my dog. The Outward Hound – Treat Triad and the Trixie Dog Activity Gamble Box. Now they come in very handy because he does not need his legs to play with them. Playing with these toys also does not wind him up too much which is great. Growing up on the streets and later on the shelter did not teach him how to handle those toys. Keep it fun and help your dog if needed to master the toy!
I really miss having real walks with my dog. It helps me to relax and we both have so much fun together. It is something we do together outside..explore new places or just stroll around.
Outward Hound – Treat Triad
Trixie Dog Activity Gamble Box
Regardless whether your dog is healthy or not try to give him the best food you can. Almost half a year ago I started to make my own dog food and although it is time-consuming and more expensive than most dog food I enjoy making it. If you would like to see how we make our dog food you can watch the video below. The video is not an instructional video but just shows you which ingredients I use etc. It also does not show which and how many supplements were are using. There is no one recipe fits all….every dog is different and you have to learn for yourself what your dog needs and what not. However, inspiring each other can always lead to new discoveries!