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Back Braces for Dogs

Just like your spine, your dog’s spine is a complicated piece of natural architecture and engineering. The spine supports your dog’s body all the time, so every movement depends on the strength and alignment of the vertebrae, discs, and spinal cord that protect your best friend.

We know that the health and comfort of your dog is one of your priorities. Therefore, it is essential to acknowledge one common illness that could affect your dog and her/his overall health and well-being: intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). We will take a look at this disease and a treatment option that could help to improve your dog’s life when facing it, dog back braces.

IVDD: Definition, Causes, and Consequences

dachshund back brace

The Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), often called herniated or slipped disc, is a painful syndrome that occurs when one or more intervertebral discs suffer a lesion. IVDD is the most common spinal disease in dogs and is an age-related and degenerative condition.

For practical purposes, the dog’s spine is divided into three different regions: lumbar, cervical, and thoracic. The lumbar spine is in charge of supporting the hindquarters and lower back. The cervical spine holds the shoulders and neck, and the thoracic spine is in charge of holding the abdominal region and the chest. When normal, the discs act as supporters and shields for external impacts in these regions. However, their rupture or degradation allows external threats to damage the internal systems of your dog and cause him/her a lot of pain.

Causes of IVDD

IVDD is a common condition in dogs, and it has several causes. Among the most frequent causes of IVDD include the age of your dog, obesity, and hereditary conditions. However, it could occur in a dog at any time, to any breed, and to both males and females. It is important to note that IVDD may develop gradually and different signs could show up in its early stages and process. The relation of the length of a dog’s back and the size of his/her legs is an essential factor to take into consideration. Dogs with relatively long backs and short legs are more prone to the development of IVDD.

Some of the breeds that have more chances of developing IVDD are Dachshund, Beagle, Cocker Spaniel, Doberman Pinscher, Corgi, Pekingese, Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, Poodle, Basset Hound, and Bulldog.

Treatment of IVDD

Different methods have been developed to treat IVDD and comfort your dog. Conservative and surgical treatments are available. A surgical technique often consists of fixing the affected disc that is troubling your dog’s spine. Furthermore, acupuncture, laser treatment, sports rehabilitation, and back braces for dogs are among the most popular conservative treatment options. In order to choose the best option, it is important to consult your veterinarian and evaluate the alternatives by analyzing your dog’s case.

The use of Back Braces for dogs

As mentioned before, one of the possible treatments that could help your dog consists of the use of dog back braces. Back braces are structures that can be quickly put on your dog’s back to limit the movement of the spine, which decreases pain and discomfort. They bring all of these benefits by stabilizing your dog’s spinal column. Back braces can be particularly helpful during outdoor activities (e.g., walking, light hiking), or during recovery.

The most common characteristics of dog back braces include, but are not limited to:

  • Complete comfort for your dog. Back braces are designed to fit your dog naturally.
  • Special design to support the back from different key points to truly maintain your dog’s spinal column stability. Ideally the supports should support the spine as well as the muscles on either side of the spinal column.
  • Back braces are often recommended for both prevention and treatment.
  • Constant adequate pressure to calm the painful effects on the dog’s nervous system.
  • A secure and easy system to take on and off.
  • Different sizes and measures to provide the best pressure and care for your dog.
  • Adequate for your dog to do his/her physical necessities without taking it off.

To put a Back Brace to your dog, it is always good to consult the veterinarian. Fortunately, dog braces are very secure, and they can be used as a preventive method before IVDD presents itself. Moreover, Back Braces offer your dog the ability to be more active and safely move, jump, and enjoy life.

How does a Dog Back Brace work?

A back brace helps to support and stabilize your dog’s spine and helps to alleviate the pressure in areas of injury. When selecting a dog back brace for your pet, look for one that supports both the spine and surrounding epaxial muscles. Your dog’s back brace should conform to the contour of your dog’s back to provide proper support.

Wearing a back brace helps relieve back pain and provide the spinal support a dog needs in order to move comfortably. In turn, continued mobility and regular exercise prevents muscle atrophy which is common when an injured dog is forced to remain immobile. Back support will not replace medical care or prescribed crate rest, speak with your Veterinarian to determine if a back brace is the best option for your pet.

When should I consider using a Dog Back Brace?

If you want to provide the best care and comforts for your dog, you must analyze his/her behavior to understand possible physical expressions. If the back of your dog is the problem, he/she may need a back brace depending on the condition that presents. Your dog’s back may be bothering him/her if you recognize the following behavioral and physical signs:

toy dog back support
  • Back pain
  • Paralysis
  • Arched back
  • Difficulty in urinate normally
  • Inability or difficulty to walk
  • Reluctance to play, run or jump
  • Shivering
  • Neck stiffness
  • Constant crying when picked up

After you have recognized one or more of the signs above on your dog, you should consult your dog’s veterinarian to treat him/her properly. The veterinarian will most likely run some tests and examinations to give you an accurate diagnosis on the back of your dog. Here are the most common tests to diagnose IVDD and other back problems:

  • X-rays of the dog’s spine
  • Complete neurological tests and examinations
  • Myelography, which is an injection of dye inserted into your dog’s spinal cord
  • MRI or CT Scans

After a proper view of your dog’s situation, your veterinarian may propose some measures including Back Braces to improve his/her condition. In most cases, a period of crate rest will be required as your dog heals. When it’s safe for your dog to walk again, a dog wheelchair can be used to support your IVDD dog as they safely start their rehab.

Back Brace Alternatives

A dog back brace isn’t a sure fix and won’t work for every dog. Many more dogs impacted from IVDD see a lot of mobility improvement with the help of a dog wheelchair. An IVDD wheelchair can be used before surgery or after crate rest as the dog rehabs. Temporary and permanent paralysis is common in dogs with spinal problems and a mobility cart is a great way to keep a dog active.

Walkin’ Wheels Dog Wheelchair
Walkin’ Wheels Dog Wheelchair
German Shepherd DM harness
Buddy Up Harness

Prevention and Recommendations for Back Diseases

One of the methods to avoid any physical condition, especially back problems on your dog is to encourage athletic activities. Regular and moderated exercise is important for healthy dogs. A good and healthy diet is also relevant to avoid obesity, which causes several issues on health. Furthermore, Back Braces could be suitable to maintain a stable spinal cord and the overall health of your little friend. In conclusion, remember always to consult a veterinarian to maintain your pets happy and healthy.

Did we answer all your questions on "Back Braces"?


  1. Thanks for posting this. My dog has been having some back pain recently and I was considering a back brace for him. This article really detailed everything I needed to know with regards to what to expect from a back brace. This brace will help in many ways and is definitely a tangible and intangible benefit to my dog. Just like a brace, bill consolidation offers benefits as well. Thank you for posting this again and I look forward to reading more of your posts!

  2. I must say this is a very informative stuff. Actually I was looking for good back braces for my dog but couldn’t find perfect one. But your info really helped me a lot thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Chandra,

      The fit of the Walkin’ Back Brace really depends on the length of your dog. Its a very adjustable brace and can be tightened to fit toy breeds, but the length on the back from collar to tail is 13″, which I imagine will be too long for a 2.6 lbs dog. We’re happy to help and go over all of the dimensions, please call our Customer Care team at 888-253-0777 and we would be happy to answer any question you may have. Learning a little bit more about your dog and their condition will help us to find the right solution for you.

    • Hi Blake,

      We would be happy to help you get the right size back brace for your hound. Because every dog is so different, we would need one measurement to get the right size: Collar to Tail, please call our Customer Care team at 888-253-0777 and we can help you get the perfect size.

      Thank you

  3. My older border collie has back problems He’s 13 and a half.. He had an FCE over 3 years ago but seemed to recover from this. This will of course have left him with a weakness in his back. A few months ago a large German Shepherd pup jumped on his back trying to dominate him and since then he has had problems with his back … as in we think back spasms. This has left him with weaker back legs although he can still walk on all four legs. We don’t walk him for long nowadays. Maybe 15/20 mins at a time. He weighs in at 22/23kgs.
    Firstly do you think this harness would be beneficial to him and secondly I need to know some idea of the cost please.
    Many thanks
    Kathleen McGonigle

    • Hi Kathleen, it certainly sounds like your border collie needs a boost. A back brace will help to support his spine and relieve any back pain your border collie is experiencing. A dog wheelchair can give your border collie the hind leg support he needs to get back to taking longer walks again. We would love to help answer any questions you may have, please call us at 888-253-0777.

  4. I have a rescued French Bill dog who was a product of a over breeder. And has had multiple issues. At 2 yrs she had a ruptured disc. veterinary Neurology Ctr Tustin, CA Dr Phillip Schissler did her surgery. IVDD, Sc@ L1-L2 and L3-L-4
    Hemilaminectomy-Thoracolumbar,Hemilaminectomy-Additional site. Post op good for 9 months. Seen again By Dr Schissler
    crate rest for 4 Wks Rx Methocarbamol,
    Gabapentin, Carprofen. By nature wild likes to run I restrict that. I think she would do well with one of your braces!
    Keeping her from twisting and flexing her back. This would be helpful with her condition and to have a mor functional life. Would like those braces that would be good for her condition. Can you help me please with a suggestion. JoAnn LeClere

    • Hi JoAnn, we have seen many French Bulldogs with IVDD that incorporate a back brace into their treatment plan. A back brace supports the spine and helps to stabilize the injured area. The vertebraVe has a lumbar support piece that can be worn to support any lower back injury. The support spines of the brace help to limit range of motion and flexation of the back as well. If you have any questions, please call us at 888-253-0777, we’re happy to help!

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