5 Common Exercise And Therapy Strategies For Dogs
"Dogs who suffered accidents and illnesses can still walk and run normally with the help of exercise and therapy. Below are a few common practices that doctors and dog owners engage in to help their pets recover faster.
Heat or cold pack
Dogs that suffered from muscle injury or have swollen joints due to arthritis can use a hot or cold pack. Apply the pack on the affected area and let it stay there for a few minutes. Some dog owners also let their dogs bathe in warm or cold water to help cope with the pain. Hot packs are more effective with sores while cold packs work best with swollen joints.
Many rehabilitation centers use a treadmill to let the dog get use to walking again. This is an effective therapy for dogs that have arthritis or DM in dogs. Most treadmills have padded ramps so there is less pressure, but long sessions will definitely hurt the dog. Another problem with a treadmill is that you have to keep an eye on the speed while you are watching over the dog. Some animal clinics have an underwater treadmill which is actually less painful for the dog to use, but it's going to be a hassle looking for a clinic that has one.
This is one of the best forms of therapies. You get to control and watch over the dog easily and it does not hurt the dog's joints as much. You will need a big pool or a container for this. The downside of hydrotherapy is that dogs actually use their front legs more than their back legs when swimming, so there might be other activities that need to be done to work on their back legs.
This acts like homework for the owner. Dogs that need physical therapy will need a big change to their daily routine. Ask your dog's physical therapist about simple little exercises that you can do with your dog when you are at home or out for a walk.
Jogging with your dog should only be done if they can take the stress. Do not force your dog to jog with you by tugging its leash. Help it out by just jogging slowly and once it has fully healed, you can pick up the pace. Dogs that are on the early stages of their illness, like hip dysplasia, DM in dogs and arthritis, can still jog. However you need to set a very short time for this to avoid them from getting too tired."