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Dear Daisy Dog

Our dog recently tore the cruciate ligament in his knee, so his veterinarian curtailed his walking and swimming for a while. How can we make the four walls of our house seem less confining and boring?

Daisy Responds

Think outside the box of your house as you consider ways to stimulate your dog’s brain and five senses.

For example, car rides are fun, particularly if he gets to visit people who shower him with affection. While you’re out, drive by dairy and horse farms to tickle his olfactory and visual senses.

Make an appointment with a doggie massage therapist. I once had a professional massage, which stimulated blood flow through my muscles and relaxed me at the same time.

See a veterinarian who specializes in physical rehabilitation. Studies show that, after cruciate surgery, dogs recover best when they use an underwater treadmill.

Inside the house, let your dog enjoy a food puzzle, a toy that delivers a morsel of dry food each time he nudges it with his nose.

Offer him a variety of toys, rotating them whenever a toy’s novelty wears off. A rawhide chew best alleviates my boredom, but give one to your dog only when you’re supervising him, to be sure he doesn’t swallow a large hunk.

I like to watch animal and nature videos, and if your dog feels the same way, record his favorite shows or buy a DVD (see to play when you’re away.

Most importantly, remember that we dogs love the touch of our favorite people, so gently brush and pet your dog often.


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