Between our icy winter weather, and Luke’s luxating patella diagnosis, we’ve been pretty challenged around here about getting exercise. Luke is supposed to be resting, which is challenging in and of itself, and the girls still want to play out in the snow. They don’t understand that their brother can’t do that right now, and it’s hard to go outside with them and leave him inside. It’s a bit easier when my both my hubby and I are home, but during the week it’s usually getting dark by the time my hubby is home from work, and our yard is not well lit.
It’s been raining, snowing, or sleeting almost every day and the roads are a mess so I don’t feel safe out there walking on them. On top of that, the yard and stairs to the deck have been icy as well, so having the dogs run around out there isn’t always the best thing.
In addition to the fact that Luke is supposed to be resting, he is supposed to lose a couple of pounds. How do you get a resting dog to lose weight, other than starving him (or at least what he perceives as starving)? Plus entertaining him indoors usually involves something that uses treats! We’ve cut back his meals just a bit more for now, and I’ll give a full update and details on his condition soon (I’m still researching).
So we’ve had to think of some different ways of doing things. Here’s a couple of things we’ve been doing:
When hubby is home, I take Luke downstairs and play a treat game with him, while hubby takes the girls outside and plays fetch, only letting them run in the safe parts of the yard where there’s soft snow. Since the temperatures have been a bit warmer that’s been doable. When it’s just me, I take Luke out onto the deck with some toys, which I throw lightly and low to the ground and he can get them and play with them. The gate to the deck is closed, and Cricket can bring the ball that far which I then throw into the yard for the girls to chase. Every so often I let Luke steal their ball, because that’s part of his joy in playing fetch! He wants to be in the yard with the girls, but he enjoys being with me too.
I previously had thoughts of working with Luke in agility, but with his bad knees I don’t think that’s going to be a possibility. So I’ve started nose work with him at home again. Donna and the Dogs posted a good starting series called “Sniff School”, which we started last winter but slacked off on. We went back to Lesson 1, and Luke excelled at that in just one session. He was a bit nervous when I started stacking the boxes, or he had to walk through them, but he quickly got over that. Therefore we’ll be moving on to Lesson 2 next time. I have some very low calorie treats that I use for that which he likes. It also gives us a chance to work on reinforcing his basic training skills, as I’ll send him back to his bed to stay while I set the boxes up again.
Luke’s knee is showing signs of improving, knock wood, and hopefully our weather will improve as well so we can get back into walking soon. I want to keep him away from running and jumping completely until he’s not holding that leg up at all anymore, and even then we’ll have to be cautious with his activities.
How do you think are we doing under these circumstances?
Welcome to Day 12 of the #Advent4Dogs 24 days of giveaways, hosted by Kol’s Notes, Dogthusiast, Heart Like a Dog, NEPA Pets & Wag’n’Woof Pets. Today’s Prize is two pair of dog lover earrings from For Love of a Dog jewelry (I can’t tell you how much I love her jewelry, which you may know because I’m always writing about it!). Open to US and Canada. Click here to enter.
We’re happy to be joining the FitDog Friday blog hop. Thank you to our blog hop hosts SlimDoggy, To Dog With Love and MyGBGVLife. Please visit their sites and others through the links below to learn more about keeping your dogs fit and happy!