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The Benefits of Animal Physiotherapy

Canine rehabilitation is an important aspect of a dog’s overall well-being, particularly if they are aging, recovering from an injury, or having mobility issues. Engaging in structured exercise with a rehabilitation expert can assist pets in rebuilding their strength, enhancing muscle tone, avoiding atrophy, improving balance, and increasing the range of motion. Physical therapy is usually recommended for dogs and other pets who are recuperating from skeletal or muscular injuries, healing from surgery, experiencing a neurological condition, delaying degenerative conditions, or enhancing the pet’s quality of life. 

Here are a few different types of physiotherapy available for your pet:


Hydrotherapy utilizes water to provide buoyancy and resistance during rehab exercises. Water reduces the amount of weight and pressure placed on a dog or cat’s joints, making it easier for a pet to move and exercise. 

Hydrotherapy Benefits

  • The water resistance helps pets to Improve muscle mass and strength 
  • Can help improve a pet’s range of motion
  • Help overweight pets lose weight and increase their endurance
  • Decrease joint pain and make it easier to exercise

Mobility conditions that benefit from water therapy include:

  • CCL and other knee injuries
  • IVDD
  • FCE 
  • Arthritis
  • Total hip osteotomy

Treadmill Exercises

Treadmill walking helps pets to strengthen muscles while working on their gait and proprioception training. This is especially important for pets healing from orthopedic injuries or suffering from an abnormal gait. Most treadmill walks will start slowly, allowing the pet time to adapt and often for short periods. 

Benefits of Canine Treadmills

  • Help pets heal from orthopedic injury
  • Improve range of motion
  • Prevent muscle atrophy and rebuild muscle
  • Help with paw placement and work on gait issues

Mobility conditions where treadmill walks can help your pet: 

  • Hip dysplasia and hip pain
  • Rebuilding leg strength after surgery
  • Ruptured ligaments
  • CCL injury
  • Neurological disorders 

Passive Range of Motion

Passive range of motion exercises occurs when a CCRP manually moves and stretches a pet’s joint to work through its comfortable range of motion without weight bearing. PROM exercises are most common in pets after surgery, tissue injuries, or paralyzed pets that cannot bear their own weight. Stretching the joint encourages circulation and helps the pet to maintain proper joint health. Canine passive range of motion exercises are not intended to prevent muscle atrophy or increase strength. 

Your pet professional may recommend several stretching sessions throughout the day during your pet’s treatment plan.  Have them guide you through the various stretches so you can work with your pet at home. Be careful never to overstretch or extend your dog’s joint beyond what’s comfortable, and this can cause more joint damage.

Benefits of PROM Exercise

  • Prevention of muscle or joint contracture
  • Increase blood flow
  • Prevent joint degeneration

Mobility conditions where passive range of motion is beneficial:

  • Pets with hip and shoulder conditions
  • Pet has lost full range of motion
  • Recovering from TPLO surgery
  • Paralysis
  • Recovering from IVDD surgery

Mobility Products to Enhance Rehab Therapy

Depending on a dog’s condition or need, sometimes they need a little extra help from a canine mobility aid during their rehabilitation therapy. 

Walkin’ Wheels Dog Wheelchair

Rehab therapy for dog injuries

A dog wheelchair can benefit many patients as they heal and recover. A wheelchair provides a pet with additional support and stability while promoting continued mobility. Additionally, a wheelchair relieves some of the weight placed on a dog or cat’s joints, making it easier for them to walk without bearing full weight.

A wheelchair is beneficial for pets dealing with partial or complete paralysis to get them standing and independently mobile. A dog wheelchair is also beneficial for pets with joint pain or skeletal injuries that struggle to bear their full weight on their injured limbs. 

No-Knuckling Training Socks

Pets with proprioceptive issues, dragging paws, and struggle with their gait can utilize the No-Knuckling Training Sock to enhance their rehab efforts.

The anti-knuckling device is intended to be used during short intervals to help correct a dog’s paw placement and retrain them to walk without dragging their front or back paws. The No-Knuckling Training Sock can be used during walking exercises, land treadmills, or water treadmill therapy sessions. Walkin’ Pets No-Knuckling Training Sock is only available through your veterinarian.

Watch Senior Dog Walk Again in New Wheelchair

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