Avoid Injuries: Ease Your Dog Into Spring

It looks like spring is finally here! After a long winter, everyone is anxious to get outdoors and enjoy the sunshine and warmer weather. Our dogs are no exception. Local dog parks and backyards have been busy with dogs running and frolicking, eager to explore the new spring world.

While it is fun to see our dogs enjoying themselves outside, we need to use some caution. An active day can lead to pain and stiffness for many dogs who are not yet used to it. If I want to go for a 15-mile run, I have to start with just a couple miles the first day and gradually increase the distance until I reach my goal. The older I get, the more important this is. The same is true for our pets.

Go ahead and let Rover have fun outside, but initially you may need to limit the amount of time and the intensity of his activity. Then gradually increase the amount of time and exercise as your pet's stamina increases. When your pet is slow moving after a busy day outside, he/she has probably verdone it. If your pet is older or has had prior injuries, the slower you need to make this process.

If your pet has already "overdone" it and is not "bouncing back" to their old exuberant self, they may be experiencing pain. Obvious signs of a problem include lameness. But if you are in tune with your dog, you will notice other signs that usually precede lameness, such as slow, cautious movement (especially after resting), stiffness with walking and getting up, decreased interest in activity, and decreased interest in interacting with others.

Please don't make your pet wait for relief. In cases like these, I usually do a combination of chiropractic care, massage, and stretching to speed up the recovery and help prevent further damage in the affected area.

If you would like to schedule a chiropractic appointment for your pet, contact Badger Veterinary Hospital today!