Crate rest or restricted exercise is an important part of recovery from a wide range of conditions, but it can be stressful for dogs and challenging for owners. If owners are struggling to keep their dogs calm and relaxed, they’re less likely to comply with advice which can ultimately impact a successful recovery.

When a dog has an injury, illness or surgery followed by a period of crate rest or restricted exercise they’re likely to have experienced psychological, environmental and physical stressors. While acute stress has immediate benefits to recovery, chronic stress can negatively impact a range of body systems.

Alongside the physical impacts, stressed dogs can show a range of behaviours such as barking, whining, hyperactivity and destructive behaviour which can be challenging for owners to manage. When dogs become stressed in the crate, owners often see relieving their dog’s immediate distress to be more beneficial to their dog’s wellbeing than the long term benefits of crate rest and therefore not fully comply with advice.

The Recovery Box has been created to support dogs that require crate rest, restricted exercise or have a long term condition affecting their mobility or quality of life. The box supports both owners and pet professionals so that they can work together to provide the dog with an optimum environment for recovery. Along with enrichment and calming products, the box includes our crate rest survival guide. Created in collaboration with a range of experts, the guide covers:

  • An introduction to stress and dog behaviour
  • A step by step guide to crate training to ensure it’s a positive experience
  • Muzzle training and why this may be beneficial in even the friendliest of dogs
  • A step by step guide to a wide range of enrichment activities and brain games suitable for the crate
  • A step by step guide to training activities that require minimal movement.

Research has shown that providing enrichment to animals during a period of recovery relieves stress, anxiety and depression, decreases perception of pain, promotes wound healing and can even decrease overall recovery time. Environmental enrichment has been shown to lower resting levels of stress hormones such as corticosterone and adrenaline, and this decrease has well known benefits on the immune, gastrointestinal and cardiovascular systems.

The benefits to the dogs’ physical and mental wellbeing helps to ensure that they’re calm and relaxed throughout their recovery. When dogs are happy, owners are happy too and much more likely to comply with any advice given, giving the dog the best possible chance of recovery.

Our referral scheme allows veterinary practices, physiotherapists and other pet professionals to offer the box to their clients without having to carry any stock. If you’d like more information on the ways we can work together to support your clients please email: hello@cognitivecanineco.co.uk or visit our website: www.cognitivecanineco.co.uk

Animal Therapy Magazine