Do you know what to do when your dog is on crate rest? If you’re not prepared, it can be a dreaded ordeal for you and your dog. Your dog will see you as a bully who is keeping them confined in a small space. And you’ll see yourself as the keeper of the jail.
Well, I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way. Your dog be on crate rest while healing from an injury or surgery without any drama.
The key to success relies on three important elements: understanding the needs of your dog, establishing a good routine and finding the perfect crate.
The video below explains the major components to keep your dog calm and content while staying in a crate
The video: Steps To Take When Your Dog Is Confined To Crate Rest
Why dogs sometimes need to be on crate rest
There are lots of reasons dogs are required to be on crate rest:
- Recovery from spine surgery
- Recovery from knee surgery
- Recovery from an injury or accident
- Conservative treatment for an IVDD episode (Intervertebral Disc Disease).
What to consider when you set up your crate
- · Be sure the crate allows for plenty of circulation.
- · Check the temperature in the room where the crate is located is good.
- · Add a blanket or crate mat if you think the room temperature might get cold.
- · Add an orthopedic dog bed to prevent pressure sores from developing.
- · Put down puppy pads in case of an accident.
- · Ensure all padding and bedding is Vet-approved and properly aligned.
- · Place the crate in an area where it won’t get bumped.
- · Give clear instruction to all family members and visitors about your pet’s needs.
- · Post a Be Quiet sign on your front door. A doorbell can cause jumping.
- · Remove any correction collars that might get caught in the wires of the crate.
- · Stay with your pet until they are acclimated.
- · Add toys that will entertain and stimulate your dog’s mind. Sturdy chew toys and food dispensing toys are great ways keep a dog from getting bored.
Get clear instructions from your veterinarian
Crate rest has different meanings. Ask if instructions include:
- · No play whatsoever during recuperation
- · No toys that promote tugging or pulling activities
- · Strict guidelines for feeding and rest periods
- · If your dog can walk to bathroom breaks or needs to be carried
- · Directions how to lift your dog
Set up a good routine
If your veterinarian allows your dog to go outdoors, schedule 3 – 5 bathroom breaks each day. They should be as soon as your dog wakes up in the morning, after each meal and before bedtime.
Dogs can be carried or walked outside on a lead. Keep each break to no more than 5 minutes of outside time, especially during the first few weeks of rest.
Schedule regular mealtimes. If your dog is well enough, serve one meal in the morning and the second meal at dinnertime. Meals should be served inside the crate.
Another important part of the daily routine are regular rest periods. These are in addition to the time your dog sleeps during the night. Rest periods should be a time when your dog is left alone to settle down and relax without you being by their side.
And the final part of your routine should include scheduled “fun time” where you interact with your dog. It is easy to see yourself solely as the caretaker and your pet as the patient. Setting aside a quality activity will remind both of you of the bond you share.
Words of encouragement
Pet mom Victoria offered these words to inspire you.
“Our babies do not understand crate rest, so we need to help them heal safely. The dog will benefit abundantly, with reduced stress and anxiety.”