5 Ways to Prevent Injuries in Dogs
Updated: Apr 16, 2021
You know that sinking feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you feel guilty, lost and have managed to convince yourself it was all your fault?
Yep I know that feeling too and it wasn't your fault by the way, even if it feels that way.
But wouldn't it be better if our pets never got injured in the first place?
Now that might seem impossible especially if you've got a clumsy dog like me but there are a few things we can do to help prevent your pets clumsiness from getting the better of them.
So here are my top 5 tips for preventing injuries in your dogs:
Core conditioning and fitness planning
Avoid high impact exercises
Don’t push your puppy too soon
Warm-up and cool-down routines
For 3 more check out my free webinar ‘3 ways to prevent injuries and improve your pets consistency’ here: https://mailchi.mp/c2a8680651eb/webinar-2
Now let’s dive into those in a bit more detail.
1- Core Conditioning and Fitness Planning: This gives your dog all the foundations their body needs.
It can be tempting to overlook the basics and jump straight in, but the basics are what set our dogs up for success.
Try starting with some weight shifting exercises to engage your dog’s core and make them more aware of where their limbs are. Once they’ve mastered that why not give cavaletti or sit to stands a try? They’re a great way of improving your dog’s joint movement and ensuring that your dog’s joints stay healthy. Healthy joints are less likely to become injured or develop arthritis as your dog ages.
Need more help creating a bespoke plan for your dog? Book a free call to discuss the best next step for you. Or check out our blog on fitness planning here.
2- Avoid high impact exercises.
High impact exercises such as ball throwing, chasing, dog sports and running etc. cause higher forces to be exerted on the body and should therefore be kept to a minimum or avoided all together especially in breeds that are conformationally most at risk by having short, over or under angulated limbs such as Dachshunds, German Shepherds, Jack Russells etc.
3- Don’t push your puppies too soon.
Our puppies are most at risk of injuries as they are high energy, have poor proprioception or awareness of where their limbs are in space and haven’t finished growing yet. This means that their growth plates haven’t closed and therefore their bones are more likely to break or suffer stress fracture.
These growth plates close between 12 and 18 months of age so before then, take it slow. Keep to low impact exercises and start introducing a fitness plan focusing on muscle strength and proprioception.
4- Warm-up and Cool-down routines.
Having a consistent warm-up and cool-down routine sets your dog up for any physical activity and ensures that their muscle, tendons and ligaments are all warm, flexible and therefore less likely to suffer any strain during exercise.
Want to know what you should be including in your warm-up for agility? No problem check out my webinar all about it here: https://www.fitpetphysio.com/product-page/what-no-one-tells-you-about-warm-ups-and-cool-downs
5- Home Changes.
There are a number of changes that you can make to your home to help prevent any injuries happening at home.
Removing slippy floors and covering them with rugs
Avoid steps as much as possible
Avoid jumping on and off of furniture
So what changes will you be making today? Let me know.