Exercises for your injured dog
Type of Injury
Identifying the type and area of the injury is essential to determine which exercise will best suit the dog. Generally, dogs get injured in the legs and hence cannot perform most exercises. Sometimes however, facial injuries or other parts can also get hurt. The dog can then perform a variety of other set of exercises.
Choosing the correct exercise
Depending on the type of injury or disorder, specific exercises should only be done by your dog.
One of the best exercises for an injured or recovering dog is swimming. Swimming in water reduces the load that the dogs’ feet are exposed to. It is generally the legs of the dogs, which get injured and hence should be cared for the most. Swimming in warm water is a great exercise for an injured dog or one who has orthopedic and neurological injuries. The dog would feel like doing this exercise more since the pain associated with the load bearing on the joints is reduced.
The thing about swimming is that it targets a number of areas in the body for the dog to be healthy. Swimming improves the cardiovascular circulation, joint range of motion and strengthens muscles and ligaments of injured areas. Thus swimming is a great way to maintain, if not improve the health of an injured dog. However, swimming also means that there is exposure to water. If there are any flesh wounds to the dog, it is better to avoid swimming as exposing that to the water could result in infections. For such injuries it is important to let the skin heal prior to exercising or to look at other exercises which the dog can do.
Injured dogs can generally not walk and it is in fact advised to not walk the dogs for a particular period of time to allow the injuries to heal. However, once the healing period is over (which again depends on the type of injury), you must encourage your dog to regain its strength in the injured parts by walking gradually. In-door walking is preferred initially until the limping of the limbs is reduced.
Encouraging the dog to walk will help the muscles and ligaments to regain strength and is an important part of the recovery process for injured dogs. If the dog can is injured in a part of the body, which does not affect the way it walks, it is a very good exercise for it. In such cases, walking in all forms be it indoors or outdoors, is good for the dog. Care must be taken not to exhaust the dog as it is still recuperating from some other injury.
3. Running and Other Activities
Running and other strength and stamina activities such as hiking and playing games should be avoided until complete recovery of the injury has taken place. It is highly risky to make an injured dog run or play. However, once the dog can walk outdoors in a regular manner, slow trotting and small hikes should gradually be encouraged so that the muscles and joints strengthen more.
Keeping the type of injury that your dog has and the above-mentioned exercises, you must devise a good exercise regime for your dog so that it remains healthy and can recover faster.