If your dog gets in a situation in which he is not able and/or allowed to exercise (e.g. run, play, jump) you will want to think of other ways to exercise your dog. Dogs need physical exercise to stay physically but also mentally healthy. Running around, sniffing and exploring are all ways your dog keeps engaged with the environment. It keeps them busy and alive. Without physical exercise, your dog soon will get bored and/or develop nasty habits to pass the time.
After Bobby’s surgery he was not allowed to run, play or jump. We were not allowed to have walks longer than 10 minutes which was very difficult to adjust to. Bobby loves being outside and having long walks. He is used to walking 3 hours a day (on the weekends even longer) so he really did not understand why we would have such short walks. Right after the surgery, he was not strong enough to walk longer, even though he wanted it really badly. His leg hurt too much and he was soon out of breath. The painkillers and antibiotics had a negative effect on his well-being, too although they did help a lot of course. Giving your dog enough rest is very important after surgery. The more your dog will move the more the stitches will get irritated and the longer it will take to heal.
But how do you keep your dog happy and healthy without physical exercise? The answer is simple: mental exercise! Mental exercise is as important as physical exercise. Some people might forget the mental aspect and think that having a big house or a big garden is enough to keep the dog happy. However, a big garden is just that – a big garden nothing more or less. It is what you do with the big garden or house that makes it interesting for your dog. Your dog probably has spent months, years in this house/garden and knows it by heart. Mentally exercising your dog implies you being active, too. Think of a fun game to play, hide snacks in the house or the garden or make a game such as a “Snuffelmat” where you hide tasty treats for your dog to find (see video below if you are not familiar with it).