1) Keep Your Dog on A Leash—You wouldn’t believe how many dogs we’ve seen at Scout’s House who suddenly bolted away from their owners and got hit by cars (HBCs, in vet med lingo). Use a leash and you’ll spare yourself the expense of rehab—and surgery.
2) Don’t Let Your Dog Jump Off Furniture—Little dogs especially but big dogs too can do a lot of front limb damage jumping off of beds, sofas, out of the car or SUV. Train your dog to use stairs or a ramp or even to wait for you to put them on the ground. (Or don’t let them on the furniture in the first place. Yeah, right!)
3) Put The Kibosh on Squirrel-Chasing—A veterinary orthopedic surgeon we know gives a slide show on knee surgery for dogs (CCL repair, as it’s known) and always asks the audience what’s the number one cause of CCL tears. The answer: squirrels. Not hard to believe if you’ve ever seen a squirrel-crazed dog take off after her favorite fluffy prey! Unfortunately, ball-chasing isn’t much better for dog knees.
4) Keep Her Lean—Fat dogs are more prone to a whole host of medical problems, including arthritis, disk ruptures, and those nasty CCL tears we just talked about. Keep your girl (or boy) lean and you’ll improve the odds for a healthy dog life.
5) Keep Him Fit—Making sure your dog gets daily, controlled exercise is the best thing you can do for his musculoskeletal health. Brisk walks, boisterous play sessions, any controlled exercise can help keep your dog on the outside looking in at your local rehab center. (The key here is “controlled”—chasing squirrels or balls does not qualify!)
Want to know how physical rehabilitation therapy can help your dog? Click here.