Your canine companions may experience discomfort due to old age, injury or illness. And this can impact their ability to move, sit, stand up, and walk. If these minor discomforts are not addressed on time, they could lead to more severe orthopedic and neurologic conditions. Besides consulting a trusted animal physical therapist, you should invest in mobility aids to offer support to your companions and ensure their comfort. In this article, we look at some mobility aids that are time-tested and worth your investment.
Invest in these Canine Mobility Aids to eliminate your dog’s discomfort
Dogs experiencing mobility issues will find these aids convenient and practical. It will provide the support where they need it the most.
- Mobility Harness and Sling: A mobility sling is beneficial for supporting your pet when they travel up and down the stairs. They add support to the abdomen or the chest of the canine. Harnesses, on the other hand, have a handle over the back. For pets with problems in their hind legs, pet owners can use a mobility harness to help their companions walk. One of the best harnesses is the “Help’Em Up Harness”
- Strollers: Dog strollers can be the most valuable investment any pet owner can make. If you have a pet who cannot walk long distances or tires out during their walk, you can bring the stroller along with you. You can allow them to rest in the dog strollers and let them out once they catch their breath. It will keep them well-rested and take some pressure off them.
- Dog wheelchairs: Dog wheelchairs are not only for dogs with missing a limb, provide support to dogs who lose strength in their legs. The wheelchair can help them improve their movement and always be active. You should consult an animal physical therapist on when is the appropriate time to start using a wheelchair. If used to soon or too often it may limit your dogs mobility by decreasing how much they use the limbs. It’s important to consult a canine physical therapist first:
- Indoor mobility scooters: Indoor scooters are for paralyzed dogs when they are not using wheelchairs inside the house. The scooter will glide on any floor, and your struggling dog stays comfortable as it is lightweight and rests closer to the floor. Again it’s important to consult a professional in severe cases such as these.
- Hip Braces: Dogs suffering from joint pains in their hips struggle to walk and perform other day-to-day activities. With hip braces, your canine stays active as the pain in their hips alleviates while walking. The lift provided by hip braces allows the pet to remain energetic with the help of rehab therapy, supplements, and medical administration through a vet or an animal physical therapist. The brace is only an aid and should be used in conjunction with professional help.
- Yoga/ Bath mats: Your mobility aids will not make a difference if you do not work on providing traction to your dog. Consider putting rugs, bath mats, etc., on stairs, slippery floors, and crates.
- Non-slip booties: Not the aids you had in mind, but non-slip booties can equip your pets with extra traction. Especially on the slippery floor, your dog won’t tumble injuring themselves. Any further stress to an already suffering canine can have severe complications.
- Toe Grips: Another aid to invest in are Toe Grips. Glue them to your dog’s nails if they struggle on the floor in case your pet does not like the non-slip booties.
Preventive Measures for Improving Your Dog’s Mobility
If your pet is facing mobility issues, preventive measures are a must. As the adage goes, prevention is better than cure, caution can go a long way in the recovery process of an injured dog. You can draft measures to help your canines feel comfortable at home and ascertain that their condition does not progress further.
Here are some tips to keep your dog’s mobility concerns minimized:
- Exercise Routine: Dogs with mobility issues should avoid strenuous exercises. They already have a disadvantage as it is. A moderate exercise plan should be created and followed by the owners consistently. Swimming is always a good option. But first, consult an animal physical therapist about whether your dog can hit the pool. But it definitely helps relieve joint pain in dogs and maintain good muscle mass. When in the best shape, there will be less pressure on your dog’s joints and the body is able to cope with the stress.
- Medication: Do not ever offer over-the-counter medication meant for humans to your dogs. They can have drastic side effects on your dogs who are already struggling with mobility issues.
Natural remedies or supplements with chondroitin and glucosamine are popular choices for dogs with arthritis and joint pain. If your vet has recommended these medications, learn about the potential side effects and interfere immediately if you see your dog reacting negatively to the prescription. On the other hand, NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can result in liver, kidney, and other digestive problems only if they are not administered correctly.
Consult your vet before giving any medications to your canine companions.
- Weight Maintenance: Maintaining a healthy weight is important. Among older dogs, being overweight results in mobility issues or joint pain. If your dogs are overweight and are struggling with the simplest tasks, consider a weight loss program for them. You can assist your dogs in losing weight effectively and safely. Consult your Vet as needed.
- Flooring: Cover your floors with rugs and carpets so that your dogs do not slip on the surface. This reduces their discomfort significantly and decreases the chances of them getting hurt. Pets can get enthusiastic when they are running about the house. Avoid wet floors inside the house. Keep them dry. Additionally, you can purchase booties for your dogs to provide them traction when they are walking on slippery surfaces.
- Hygiene: Long nails on dogs can lead to them slipping further on smooth surfaces. Hair between paw pads and long hair reaching the bottom of the feet can get wet and increase the chance of them stumbling. Trim their nails and hair regularly so that they do not face trouble while navigating at home.
You know your pets the best. If you know that your dog is displaying signs of distress while executing their daily activities, it is time to contact the vet or a physical therapist for further counseling. Supportive measures provided by mobility aids will not aggravate their disabilities further and maintain their activeness and enthusiasm, but professional help is a necessity!