As humans need physical rehabilitation to ease their pain, and so do the dogs. And this is a reason why Dog Physical Therapy is necessary and provided in the same way as human beings get.

What is Dog physical therapy?

Canine or veterinary physical rehabilitation programs use similar techniques for improving animals’ wellbeing. In fact, the therapies provided to men and animals are similar. So why should we not talk about physical therapy or physiotherapy for animals?

Some states use the term physical therapy for licensed therapists who performs therapy on people. But, when we use similar techniques on animals, specialists make use of the term physical rehabilitation.

Is physical rehab good for pets? Studies indicate that canine rehab has the same benefits as physiotherapy has for people. Animals also get similar treatment before the condition gets severe. The program continues over a sustained period of time. In fact, if the pet shows improvement, the therapist continues with its program.

Will My Dog get benefit from physical therapy?

Physical rehabilitation help restore the function of an injured or deceased pet. It involves a combination of treatments like

  • Massage
  • Heat
  • Electrical stimulation and
  • Acupuncture combined with hydrotherapy and exercise.

Physical Therapy helps in improving muscle health. In some cases, vets recommend canine physical rehabilitation as an alternative to surgery. Physical therapy stimulates the dogs’ brains and renews their energy.

What is the process involved in physical rehabilitation for dogs?

Before starting the physical rehabilitation program for dogs, take advice from a veterinarian first. Veterinarians will suggest if your dog requires therapy or not and which is the right program for it. Professionals will review your dog’s condition and create a treatment plan that will help understand the condition of the dog. Besides treatment, dogs will also get home exercises.

There are rehab facilities, especially for rehabilitation. Your pet can also get at-home exercises that can improve their condition to the maximum extent.

Do only injured or recovering dogs gets physical rehab exercises

No. Dogs need exercises for strength, endurance, flexibility and health. Many dogs love to involve in the mental challenge with rehab exercises.

There are many physical rehabilitation exercises that you can give to your dogs at home. Some are the following:

Improve Its Balance

Plank: It is a basic exercise to help your dog balance and stand upright. It could get difficult for many dogs if it fidgets. It is also a fun way to engage with your pet while improving its overall well-being. It is also important to consult your veterinarian before attempting any of these exercises with your pet. Make it stand still, aim it for ten seconds without movement and head up.

Balancing with the use of wobble boards: Keep your dog on wobble boards, a small physio ball or cushions and encourage your pet to retain the balance. Tickle your dog’s tummy gently to help it engage with its muscles and make this exercise fun for your dog.

Improve Its Strength

Standing Exercise: Use a treat to encourage your dog to stand, and then slowly help it return to a sitting position. You can start it by backing your dog’s hind end towards a corner. Repeat it ten times, two times every day but make sure that your dog does not experience any pain.

Back Extension: Make your dog stand on a raised surface with its front feet, help it to step on a platform that is exactly about the height of your dog’s ankle. Make sure that both the head and neck are in a straight line with the back. Keep on motivating it to remain in this position for 5 to 10 seconds and then help it to safely step it down.

Exercise for Mobility

Dancing: Retain your pet’s front paws or legs just above the elbow and bring your dog up in a standing dance position. Sway it from side to side, then slowly motivate it to take a step forward, backward and sideways.

Cookie Stretch: Help your dog to stand comfortably. Using a piece of food, induce your dog to move its nose towards its shoulder, hip and then between front legs. Work on both sides and try to prevent it to step out of place. The objective is to prevent your pet from stepping out of place and allow it to stand still and stretch.

Cardiovascular Fitness:

Leash Walking: It is about making use of leash walk. Use both a chest harness and a regular collar and leash to make your dog walk with controlled pacing steps. If your dog is strong and is pain-free, you can also make it jog or help it to take faster steps. It will help improve its fitness level.

Full Exercise

If your dog is prepared for full-body exercise, consider the exercises and activities like swimming or agility course. You can also use hurdles, weave poles and Cavaletti rails. Many dogs enjoy doing these activities as the same offer ample physical benefit.


Massages are an easy and basic type of exercise. All you have to do is gently apply pressure on the affected areas. Gentle massage can help

  • Ease pain
  • Reduce swelling in particular muscle groups
  • Improve blood circulation
  • Reduce anxiety

Each dog displays different behavior patterns. They have different health challenges and abilities. So only your Vet or Canine Physical Rehabilitation professional can tell you when the improvement in your dog’s condition will start.

There are quite a couple of other exercises also like stair climbing etc. All these are home exercises that you can also initiate yourself without the help of a therapist. However, it all depends on your dog’s condition and breed.

Pet Pros has an experienced dog physical therapist who can visit your place to provide comprehensive physical therapy to your dogs. We use high tech equipment and prepare customized exercises that are suitable for your dog. All our therapists and caregivers are quite compassionate and have received specialized training to perform the requisite, so rest assured your pet is in safe hands.