Is your dog like a member of the family? More and more Americans feel that their furry friends deserve the best medical care, and that medical care frequently goes beyond the veterinarian's office.
One alternative therapy gaining popularity for its success and noninvasive nature is physical therapy. How does doggy physical therapy work? And what can you do to help? Here are five great options to treat a variety of ailments in your pet.
1. Passive Range of Motion. Passive exercise therapy consists of the therapist moving your dog's limbs and joints in a way that mimics normal activities. It helps boost the range of motion in those joints in a less painful manner while the dog can rest. Passive exercises are often one of the earliest forms of physical therapy approved after injury or surgery.
2. Water Exercise. Exercising in water helps many people work arms, legs, neck, and back with some natural resistance and smooth motions which prevent overwork — often recommended for older adults. And it can do the same with dogs. Water therapy often uses a treadmill under the water to help your pet move normally while their weight is supported, and movements are slowed down.
3. Cold Laser. So-called cold laser therapy is used for both pets and humans, operating in similar ways. The laser therapy is focused on inflamed joints and affects individual cells to reduce that inflammation. It also boosts natural circulation, which can help a variety of musculoskeletal ailments.
4. Obstacle Courses. If your pet can do exercise but has trouble with coordination, stamina, or proper leg movement, they may benefit from simple obstacles. A physical therapist creates an obstacle course designed to target your doggy's particular needs. It could include ramps of varying heights, rows of posts to maneuver around, small jumps, and obstacles to avoid in the path.
5. Massage. Massage therapy is a growing trend among pet owners, and it serves similar purposes as human massage therapy. Working the muscles after injury, kennel confinement, or a diagnosis of inflammation can increase circulation and soothe muscles back into shape. It may help break up scar tissue or prevent it from forming.
Which of these alternative pet therapies can help your furry friend? It depends on their specific illness, and they may even benefit from a combination of treatments. The reward will be a longer and happier life for your pet and a happier life for their owner. Click here to continue reading more about alternative animal therapy here!