How I deal with high pain, low energy days:
- If it is in any way possible I take my service dog out. Even if I need help from my family, roommate, or other person to do it.There have been time in my life where I was completely on my own. During these periods, so far I have been lucky enough not to get ill to the point I could not take my service dog out. Knowing that is is possible I always keep look out for good area pet sitter/ dog walkers that I could enlist to help care for my dog. See Pet Sitters International Locate a Sitter Service. I remember an incident when my roommate's service dog Einstein was only four months old and I was out of town on business. My roommate went to the ER and was told she needed emergency surgery. She was able to call our pet sitter and he fit her into the schedule. He took Einstein home with him and came over each day to care for the cat and domestic rats we had at the time until I came home.
- Sick or not service dogs need interaction with their handlers. In general the service dogs I have had and have been known for being uncannily good at realizing when their people are really, really sick and adjust themselves to sometimes strangely quiet modes. By the same token, they are sometimes so pleased to see their person start to get well again, they want to just jump right back into regular activity levels. Every handler should identify quiet, minimal energy (for the handler) activities that they and their dog enjoy. If your dog is used to positive training and enjoys shaping a few minutes several time a day can be both physically and mentally stimulating for a dog.
- Make sure you have several people who have been properly educated and will happily follow the conventions of your service dog's training. The last thing a disabled handler who is recovering from illness needs is a dog who has developed bad habits or experienced a down grade in their skills during their illness.
- Make sure you have interactive toys like Kongs, Nylabones, Buster Cubes, and other dog puzzles to entertain your dog on low energy days.