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  • Writer's picturemaxine cooch

5 things to do with your dog whilst they are on crate rest

Updated: Sep 15, 2021

Create rest is no fun for anyone, least of all your dog! Often they are bouncing off the walls, and doing themselves more harm than good. But did you know that mental stimulation can be just as wearing for dogs as physical excursion? For this reason I have complied these 5 fun things for you to do with your dog that takes little to no physical effort, but will help to calm your dog down and ease anxiety for their duration of crate rest.

1. Cups

Place three upturned cups on the floor. Place a piece of food from your dog’s daily food allowance under one of the cups. Say “find it” and wait for your dog to nose the cup housing the food, lift the cup to reveal. If they don’t find it the first time ask again, or make it easier by lifting the cup up, showing where it is, and asking them to find it again.

2. Egg Box

Place a handful of food into an egg box and tape it shut, poke holes in the box that are big enough for the food to fall through. Give it to your dog in their crate to play with and push around to slowly release the food.

3. Pamper

Not so much a game but a bonding exercise. Ask your dog to stand, stroke along their body using long strokes and reward calmness. Use slow steady movements to avoid exciting them and give them a gentle massage as you go.

4. Vet check practice

No doubt your dog has already been through a lot at the vets, they may have started out confident but are now a quivering mess when they arrive. Help them by practicing recreating a vet check at home. You can use your doormat as a practice target to stand on, ask them to stand and reward calmness by using long steady strokes. Practice picking up each limb (where safe to do so) and continue to reward calm behaviour.

5. Physiotherapy Exercise.

Teach your dog their physiotherapy exercises (where applicable) Instead of placing your dog into the exercise position try teaching them how to get there independently. Clicker training can be wonderful for this, so use this as an opportunity to learn and teach your dog all about it.

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