I have to say, that is the most obscure blog post title I’ve ever written.
We are currently in week two of six weeks of downtime for Logan. When on a walk nearly two weeks ago Logan seemed to injure his leg somehow. We had our suspicions, and the vet later confirmed that he had injured his Cruciate Ligament. While it doesn’t appear to have torn entirely, it does seem to be ruptured enough that if Logan doesn’t stick to strict rest for 6 weeks then he will need surgery.
So what does that mean? That means that, for the time-being at least, Logan can’t do anything. No running. No going for walks. No jumping. While he can walk, we need to keep him as calm and slow as possible to give his leg a chance to heal properly. This is going to be difficult, especially for a dog that whinges at us if he doesn’t get walked for a day.
What we had to do is figure out what to do with a dog that couldn’t do a thing.
The first thing we did was dig out Logan’s bobble feeder. This is a toy that we put biscuits in, and Logan needs to push it around so that the biscuits fall out. It’s a great way to make him work for his breakfast and get him thinking a little bit more than shoving his snout in a bowl.
Long term treats
The next thing we did was organise some longer term treats, i.e. treats that take more than two minutes each to devour. The best thing we’ve ever found for this is the Everlasting Treat Ball. This is a rubber ball that you insert treat discs into, and the dog essentially have to lick and gnaw the disc away. Depending on how long you leave the ball with the dog these discs can last up to a week, and require some thinking too.
Of course we’re keeping the riff-raff out, but one way we’ve found to keep Logan interested and engaged is to bring the outside world to him. While we do need to be careful when guests arrive to make sure he doesn’t jump, it can be mentally stimulating to have people other than myself and Drew in the house for him to interact with.
Keep him thinking
This is the big one. Logan is a very clever dog. We’ve always known that, ever since he started opening kitchen draws when he was 3 months old and dismantled our vacuum cleaner without leaving a single tooth mark when he was 12 months old. The only way to get him through these six weeks without going crazy was to keep him thinking and mentally active.
To do this we bought a stack of dog puzzle toys. These are toys that we put treats in, and Logan needs to flip levers, move panels, and all sorts of other interactions in order to discover them.
Keep an eye out over the next few weeks. As Logan gets more contact time with these puzzles we will post videos so that you can all see how they work.