This is one of the questions that I receive the most – “I have a very active dog, how do I keep him/her inactive during the recovery process”. To be honest, there is not a simple answer. Active dogs are like active people, they get stir crazy when they’re confined to a space for a prolonged period of time. I’m one of those types of people, so I can definitely relate and totally understand what our dogs may be going through during the recovery process.
In talking with our veterinarian, and after going through this experience first hand, I can tell you that trying to keep an active dog inactive is not an easy task. There are basically 3 options that you have which can be used together or independently of one another.
- Cage / Pen
Restricting a dog who usually has free reign in the house or in the backyard is difficult, but the thing you have to keep in mind is that it is entirely for the good of the dog. The pen allows you to restrict your pets movement; if there is not enough space to walk/run around, your dog will most likely just lay down (hopefully). Our dog had a hard time adjusting to being in penned up, so we ended up using sedatives. Here are some great options for pet pens and cages.
- Sedatives / Sedation
We had a very hard time accepting this method, but when it comes down to it, movement and activity can cause your dog to re-injure its knee or damage the work that was done during the CCL surgery. Our veterinarian subscribed sedatives to us, but we were reluctant to use them at first. After the first day and a half of whining and standing at the door of the pen, we decided to start using the prescribed sedatives and it was the best thing that happened, for us and our dog.
- Diet Restriction
We used diet restriction for 2 reasons. Firstly, our dog was overweight and that was a large part of the reason that she tore her CCL in the first place so the diet restriction helped to serve as a weight loss “tool”. Secondly, consuming less food will result in less energy, so your dog will more than likely be less active. Try it sometime, eat 25% less calories one day than you normally would, chances are that you’ll feel a bit lethargic.
When it comes down to it, none of these options are ideal, but when all is said and done, they do help to keep the dog from re-injuring itself after surgery, and they can also help to recover faster.
The following items don’t necessarily help keep an active dog inactive, but they can help contribute to joint health which in-turn will help your dog once it begins its “rehab” and gets to get back moving:
- Cosequin DS Double Strength Chewable Tablets, 250 Count
- DVM Resources SynoviG3 Soft Chews, 240 Chews