Dogs Can Be Needy When Recuperating

Dogs Can Be Needy When Recuperating



Be prepared for your dog to feel scared and more needy when they are ill or recuperating. But they also may need some space.


Pay attention to what your dog is telling you.


If they put their head on your lap, give them pets and reassurance. But if they go into another room to lie in their bed, leave them alone! They may not feel well and do not want to be touched. Or they might be extra tired and want to sleep peacefully without your interruption.




Something I witnessed a couple years ago with Kompis as she grew blind and senile, and then I recently experienced again with Musik Ulbrich when she was first recuperating from her dog attack injuries, was very odd!


One of the ways their neediness manifested itself was when I was trying to fall asleep. They tended to become very restless when they saw that I was basically “checking out”, so they moved around and fussed and maybe even tried to get my attention (lick me, stand on me, want to get up and walk around, etc.). Then, once I finally was wide awake, they’d fall fast asleep.


I saw this over and over with Kompis and thought maybe it was unique due to her rare combo of issues. But then I saw it with Musik as well.


It obviously makes it really, really hard to take care of them when you are already emotionally exhausted, and now you’re not able to get any sleep. So I tried to modify my life so I could at least rest a bit when they are sleeping during the day. I might not get an actual nap, but I can at least lie down next to them and get some deep breaths in. But, if you need to work during the day, this can become unbearable.


In addition to them wanting to ensure you are there for them, I believe this behavior also occurs because they could not carry on their role as guard dog, and want to ensure you are taking over for the household.


Obviously having someone to tag team with would be helpful, so your dog always feels like someone is “on watch”, and can let one of you sleep while the other ensures all is well. But if you’re alone, be prepared for some exhausting work if your dog takes part in this behavior. 😴


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