#ourpitstoptakesonheartwormspost 3: I'm sharing everything we're learning about heartworm disease through Mama Julep's recovery. If you missed the first two posts in this series, click the hashtag. Otherwise, read on for our tips on getting through the looooong recovery rest period.
*4-6 weeks of rest means no walks, zoomies, wrestling, you name it. For dogs that are unable to stay calm inside, a crate is recommended.
*Embrace the tie down. We use a leash looped around a couch leg. When Julep (or any of our other past fosters) can't settle, we place her in a tie down with a @mybenebone to work on.
*Ditch bowls and feed all meals out of toys. We like kongs for wet food (pictured here) and for kibble we rotate the @paw5us snufflemat, the @starmark_petproducts bob-a-lot, the @omegapaw tricky treat ball, the @petsafe busy buddy barnacle, the @nina_ottosson tornado, and the @outwardhound fun feeder. (Shameless plug: one of my first @thesniffblog posts will be about food dispensing toys so be sure to follow!)
*Rotate toys to keep interest. We have a closet of toys that stays closed, and every few days I put away the toys that are out and bring out new ones.
*If you have multiple dogs, keep the non-resting dog tired so he or she doesn't instigate! Beau has been getting lots of long walks and flirt pole sessions during Mama Julep's recovery, and he's been eating out of food dispensing toys, too. We've only had a couple of days of him trying to engage her in play, when he hadn't had enough exercise/stimulation.
*Keep a leash on outside at all times. Even Julep, who is super calm, can't help herself if she sees a squirrel in our backyard.
*Know what excites your dog, and avoid it as best you can. For instance, I've learned that Julep is friskiest on cold mornings, so I am extra diligent with the leash on those mornings. Our cat, #Zorathequeen, is also very exciting to Julep so we keep them completely separate with baby gates and doors.
*Know what calms your dog, and lay it on thick! For Julep, it's all about snuggling. And with that, she's weaseled her way into our bed in the evening!
*Have you been through a rest period with your dog before? What has worked for you?