Just like we do, dogs suffer from muscle pains, aches and strains but they can’t easily tell us that they have a sore shoulder or that their knee is stiff. They usually don’t complain and tend to adapt to move around the problem so they can carry on with the job of being your best friend.
When you do notice a change in their behaviour or the way they walk, professional support can help to ease their problems to bring noticeable and positive changes in your dog. Equally importantly, regular interaction, from you, can help prevent the injuries from recurring.
As a canine physical therapist with 8 years of experience treating my own dogs and, as a successful business, hundreds of other dogs, I have discovered that, where seeing a professional therapist undoubtedly helps, that isn’t the whole story.
The therapist can’t always be on hand 24/7 but you, their carer, on the other hand, are more likely to be. By teaching you a regular massage regime that, together with a personalised workbook with illustrations of the techniques applicable to your dog, you will be able to support your dog. This applies equally whether that be an agility dog with warm-up and cool-down routines, a less able dog through disease or recovery from surgery, or an older dog needing help with mobility and arthritis.
With this shift in focus towards helping you help your dog, I have found my regular dogs benefiting far more from this ‘new’ regime than just the therapist’s visit.
The dogs get a massage whenever they need it rather than when it fits the diary – even daily if necessary – before/after exercise and going for walks.
In addition we can discuss easing access for your dog – flooring and non-slip surface adjustments, ramps to ease passage up/down steps and refer back to your vet for issues that may require further investigation.
“Dear Les. Many many thanks for seeing me and my dog. I really do think you are an excellent teacher. I think it is a great gift to give the owners a way of helping their dogs in such an empowering and active way. We have already bought a massage mat which we shall use just for that so she knows what is happening. I am pleased to have met you and feel we will both benefit from not feeling like victims to her condition”
“The judicious use of complementary therapies is unlikely to be harmful, and they may provide some assistance to animals affected long term by the pain and discomfort of OA – especially if conventional treatments have failed” Dan Skeldon. Vet Times July 2017
(AchyPaw Canine Physical Therapy – “Helping you to help your dog”)