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My dog stepped on something and now has a pretty nasty cut on the back paw pad. Got stitches there. Now for the next 10 days I need to keep her very calm both indoors and outdoors, so that it could heal, otherwise she'll have to endure month and a half of misery.

Doctor gave 2 options. 1st was to give stitches and then it should heal within 10 days. And second was no stitches but then healing is 1.5 months, and it means constant bandages and low to no activity. If stitches tear, then there is pretty much only the second option.

My dog is young and hyper, so commands won't work when she gets hyper. Indoors I can handle her, as she is calm, but when going for the small walks for her to do her business, she gets hyper, and is in danger of tearing the stitches.

What can I do so that when we go outside, she wouldn't get hyper? Active play is not an option.

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There are 2 problems here:

  1. Make sure your dog doesn't tear the stitches
  2. Provide her with mental and physical stimulation

For the first problem I suggest using a rear sling whenever you go out with her. It's basically a sturdy strip of fabric around her belly with which you can partially lift her rear end to relieve pressure from her feet.

An additional advantage of this solution is that she cannot run away erratically because you hold her hind legs with the sling.

For the sling you could use any long strip of fabric that doesn't stretch too much, like a scarf or shopping bag with the sides cut away. You should cushion the center with a small towel or other soft object.

Commercial dog support solutions are available online and with some luck at your local vet and pet store. Instructions to craft your own dog hind sling are available as well, including:
this Youtube video
this pictured instruction


The second problem of providing physical stimulation is harder in these circumstances.

I strongly suggest taking walks with the hind sling to burn off her energy. Keep an eye on her for signs of exhaustion. If she slows down and looks at you a lot, she's probably exhausted and wants to go home.

For games and mental stimulation, please have a look at this list: Alternatives to walking a dog

In addition to that, try playing with her lying on her side or back. You could loosely wrap her in a blanket or bedsheet and let her fight her way out again (make sure the blanket is breathable). For many dogs a little rough cuddling comes natural. Encourage her to push her body away from you with her front legs.

And don't underestimate the power of mental stimulation. A little puzzle that yields a few treats when solved can balance her just as well as a session of play fetch.

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