Just like when humans break a bone that requires a cast and rest from regularly activity, pets do too. But, it can be a little more difficult for our four-legged friends to understand what the doctor means when they say, “Take it easy.” So for our dogs, they often need to be on crate rest when healing from an orthopedic injury. This month, Behavior Specialist Bryana Peters, CPDT-KA, shares with us her tips and tricks for providing care and enrichment for dogs on crate rest

Crate rest can be prescribed to ensure a dog remains calm during the physical recovery process. This can be difficult for some individual dogs, leading to high levels of kennel stress.

Below is how to help a dog on crate rest so your can dog overcome this and heal properly:

  • Ensure the crate is a proper size with enough room for the dog to lay down and turn around.
  • Location, location, location! If a dog is stressed and struggling to settle, ensure the crate is in a quiet, settled area of the home to help calm him down.
    • Some dogs struggle with seeing family members moving around which creates excitement, so it may lead to less frustration if the kennel is in a secluded location.
    • The reverse is also true and some dogs do better in a common area where they can observe your daily activities.
    • Covering a kennel with a large blanket may also help when an out-of-the-way spot is not available.
    • Offer different types of enrichment that focus on using all of the dogs five senses:
      • Offer relaxing music
      • Provide a frozen Kong enrichment toy
      • Use a dog safe new scent
      • Offer a toy with a new texture
      • Leave the TV on quietly in the background
  • Work on different training games while your dog is in his crate:
    • Sit down and “shake” if your dog shows interest
    • Lure the dog into the sit position
    • Teach the command to “touch”
  • If your dog is struggling with stress, have them eat their meal out of a slow feeder or another enrichment toy.
  • If your dog is extremely stressed and struggling, please contact us for suggestions and tips.
    • Extreme stress may look like excessive circling, inability to sleep or lost interest in eating, chewing on bars, or excessive vocalizations.

Click below for further details and information on how to help your pup.
Canine Enrichment for Crate Rest
Crate Training Tips
How to Stuff a Kong

With these tips and tricks to help your dog on crate rest, your best friend will be happy and healthy in no time at all!

February 13, 2023