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Where Do I Begin with Doggie Physical Therapy?

Canine rehabilitation therapy has come a long way over the last few years and more physical therapy options are available all the time. With so many options to choose from, how does a Tripawd pawrent know where to begin?

Tripawd Cadence (aka, trifod) asked in our Hopping Around Discussion Forum:

“I looked at the gear and there is a lot for the core strengthening, but I don’t know where to begin. I want to try to be economical about it and not buy everything, but start with one or two basics and maybe add more later if I need too.”

How to Start Your At-Home Dog Rehab Routine

Working on your Tripawds’ rehab routine at home isn’t complicated, but according to Deanna Rodgers, PT, CCRP of Good Life Physical Therapy for Animals in Fort Collins, Colorado, ideally you want to work with a physical therapist first. Rogers advises finding a dog rehab practitioner who will work with you to meet your goal of at-home therapy.

Rogers says that when she meets with a new client, she wants to know what the owner’s goals are for their dog. If yours is to do the exercises at home, Rogers will break this goal down into managable steps to help you reach it. A good practitioner like Rogers will give owners the tools necessary to ensure lifelong fitness.

She adds that one physical therapy session is not enough and occasional check-ins are advisable. “It’s beneficial to have the physical therapist show you things you can do,” she says, “to ensure you’e doing them right and to see how your dog has (or hasn’t) improved.”

After your physical therapist shows you how to do at-home doggie rehab, ideally you and your dog will want to do these exercises with a partner. “The quality of movement may be better with two people working at the same time,” she says.

You can see in this video that Rogers is using the FitPAWS Peanut for Tripawd Spree’s workout. Rogers and  Connie Fredman of Canine Health Resort are both working with Spree to give her the best workout possible. One person holds the Kong, while the other steadies the ball and ensures Spree is doing her exercises correctly.

Please note that this video depicts advanced canine rehab stretching. Always consult a CCRP or CCRT before exercising with your dog at home.

As you can see, Spree is a strong, healthy Tripawd thanks to regular canine rehabilitation therapy!

See all FitPAWS Peanutsize and pricing

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NOTE: We are not veterinarians. All information provided here is based only on our own experiences caring for Jerry and Wyatt, and the experiences of other Tripawds members. Please consult your vet or do further research before implementing any new fitness regimen into your dog’s treatment plan.



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8 thoughts on “Where Do I Begin with Doggie Physical Therapy?”

  1. Totally agree. I find the same with Maggie. Same with walks…15-20 minutes are excellent for Maggie…
    Do you do the balance disc daily with Wyatt? Maggie can’t handle it daily…after about day 3, I can see too much. So don’t do every day…skip a day. But Wyatt is so much younger than Maggie…

  2. Daily? No. I try to rotate it with a longer walk one day (20 minutes), then a short walk and the Balance Disc the next. Or, we do the Paw Pods instead. Wyatt is younger but I’m so paranoid about that back hip, I’m trying to preserve it as long as possible.

  3. Oh that’s right…I forgot about his hip 🙁

    That’s usually what I do too is rotate days with walks but there have been a few days of no walks in a row due to weather up here…but I still see even that is too much for her. So, we just back off! I truly think the rear leggers have a harder time gaining strength and then keeping it…as you mentioned once before(or maybe it was Jim?) about how dogs naturally put more weight on the front already, so are stronger up front.

    I need to get some of those paw pods…

  4. We notice that when we get lazy about Wyatt’s fitness games, it shows up right away. You can tell instantly by how low his rear leg dips when he hops. But it’s such a fine line between keeping them fit and not overdoing it.

    And yes, dogs do put 60 percent of their weight on their front limbs.

    Paw Pods are pawesome! I love them because when it’s rainy or crappy outside we can do them inside our teeny little RV, no problem. The Balance Disc is an outside thing, we don’t have room to use it inside.

  5. Well, I’m glad Maggie’s in good company then about loosing fitness fast! I thought maybe it was just her age but seems it’s the lack of a rear leg that plays a big part too. It sure is a fine line! Too much, too little…gone back and forth with that with Maggie too…
    I’m ordering up some Paw Pods now…one can never have too many PT tools to work with! LOL 🙂


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