Simple Canine Physical Therapy Tips
Your dog is part of the family, which is why you do everything possible to make sure that they are happy and healthy. If your dog has suffered an injury, the road to recovery can be a long one. Doing canine physical therapy at home can speed up the process. Here are some easy to follow and very effective canine physical therapy exercises that you can do in the comfort of your home
Range of Motion
This canine physical therapy exercise is effective for getting a dog’s limbs limber again. Have your dog lie on their side while you gently move their limbs around in the joints. Essentially, you are mimicking the motion of walking, which can help build strength and flexibility. Be cautious that your dog isn’t in pain while you are doing the exercise (which is a good approach when doing all physical therapy exercises)
Massage for Canine Physical Therapy
This canine physical therapy exercise helps to warm and loosen sore muscles by increasing circulation. This helps not only to loosen muscles to promote movement but it can also help to repair damaged muscles. When you are stiff and sore, don’t you find massage helpful? Your dog does too.
Have Fido lie down and gently massage each muscle group. Keep it gentle though. A deep tissue massage as your dog is healing can do more harm than good. In addition to helping with physical therapy, this exercise helps to calm anxious dogs as well.
A strong core can help to balance out your dog’s body, which will help them heal from injury, as well as help to prevent future injury. Encourage them to stand on a wobble board (or even on an appropriately sized physioball) and move it gently. The slight movement will help them to engage their muscles, strengthening them.
Therapy Leash Walks
You likely already walk your dog for toileting purposes, but this type of leash walk is actually meant to rehabilitate your dog through canine physical therapy. It promotes the use of limbs. Take the lead from your dog, in terms of how far and how fast you go. Gradually increase the distance and speed every week until your pet is healed.
Pay attention to how your dog is walking. If you notice that they are limping, or are changing the way that they are walking to compensate, that is a sign that you have gone too far.
In this canine physical therapy exercise, have your dog put their forward legs onto a low step. This will distribute more weight to their hind legs, which will help to strengthen them and increase range of motion.
If your dog is resisting climbing up on the step, try placing a treat on it. If you follow these tips, your dog’s mobility will increase and they will be back to normal before you know it.