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No Walks? No Worries! Maintaining Wellbeing in Dogs on Restricted Exercise

‘Just keep him quiet for a few weeks.’

If you’ve ever heard those words from your vet and looked down at your super-excitable and active dog with a sinking feeling as you contemplate what those few weeks of restricted activity or crate rest might actually entail then hopefully No Walks? No Worries, our new book, will help allay some of your fears and help maintain your dog’s wellbeing and welfare while they recuperate.

Riley using a Kong Stuffaball

Riley using a Kong Stuffaball

There are many reasons why restricted activity may be advised by your vet, or behaviourist:

– musculo-skeletal conditions or injuries  which require surgery or conservative management

– nervous or fearful dogs who may benefit from a period of reduced exposure to the things that scare them

– elderly dogs who are no longer as physically active as they once were but still require mental and emotional support

– puppies – whose physical capabilities are still developing.

Within the book my co-author Helen Zulch and I give advice on how to create your dog’s individual care plan and re-assessing their needs throughout their period of restricted activity. We encourage you to prepare in advance as much as you can, and also give suggestions for how to cope in an emergency when you don’t have time to prepare. All our suggestions are beautifully illustrated by specially taken photos from Peter Baumber, including the ones illustrating this blog.

The book gives you ideas, practical ‘how to’ advice and hopefully will encourage you to think creatively to give your dog the mental stimulation, emotional support and physical activity that they need to get the most benefit from the restricted activity that has been prescribed for them. With clinical experience of dogs for whom a period of restricted activity has fixed their physical issues but left them with behavioural problems that cause them and their owners distress, the book is aimed at preventing behaviour problems from occurring and supporting dogs and owners during what can be a very stressful experience.

Two Dogs Greeting on Lead

Cooper and Ivo Greeting

Restricted activity doesn’t just impact on the dog on crate rest, but changes the nature of  their interactions with the whole family: humans, dogs, cats or any other members of  their  social group.  Within the book we encourage you to try to maintain social contact  in a controlled manner wherever possible, as long as your dog will enjoy and benefit  from  the encounter. For fearful dogs it is especially important to ensure that they  continue to socialise with people and dogs whose company they enjoy. This can help  maintain their confidence and prevent them becoming completely socially isolated.

 Throughout the book we encourage you to view the restricted activity from your dog’s perspective. Be aware that pain may make them irritable or want to be left alone at times, or that they may be at risk of becoming frustrated, for example. Our book gives you help to identify these issues and manage them pro-actively where possible.  There are even worksheets and care plans for you to complete to meet your dog’s individual needs.

If your dog is facing an operation or a period of restricted activity for whatever reason then, alongside the book, I can also provide support in person. Contact me to discuss how a Care Planning session will benefit you and your dog while they recuperate. You can buy the book from Amazon using the link below too.

Sian Ryan

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