Dog Rehab Exercises

Sit-to-Stand

A simple sit-to-stand is just what it sounds like. The dog is asked to rise from a sit position and then to sit and start again.

This exercise is great for strengthening the hip and stifle extensors. Strengthening the hips creates more stability to the joint.

Hip Push

With your dog standing squarely, use the palm of your hand on the right hip and gently push on the hip until you feel resistance. If you push too hard your dog will take a step to the side.

Hold for 10 seconds, the release and repeat with the other side.

Continue with this on each side for 10 repetitions per side for each session.

Loaded Weight Shift

Place your forearm on the top of the pelvis and apply gentle downward pressure. The other had is used to gently shift weight towards the affected side.

Dogs that have reduced weight bearing may benefit from this exercise to encourage weight bearing, muscle strengthening and joint position awareness.

Rear Limb Weight Shifting on a Stable Surface

Stand slightly behind the dog with your hands placed on either side of the pelvis to support your dog. Make sure the limbs are in a square position, then gently push in one direction, then the other in a slow rhythmic fashion.

As balance improves the speed of the unbalancing movements can increase.

Rear Limb Weight Shifting on an Unstable Surface

With your dog standing on a mattress or cushion, gently push them off balance, encouraging them to shift their weight onto the affected rear limb.

Pushing them towards the affected limb generally works better but try in both directions.

Be careful not to push too hard.

Balance Disc For Rear Limbs

This exercise helps to encourage weight bearing on one or both rear limbs or to improve balance.

Place the rear limbs on the disc and have your dog maintain balance.

If this is too easy, shift the weight of your dog or rock the disc back and forth.

Wobble Board for Rear Limbs

Place the wobble board under your dog’s rear limbs in a comfortable position.

Slowly rock the board front to back, side to side or in a circular motion to challenge your dog’s balance.

Hip Flexion and Extension

With your dog lying down on its side, grasp the leg and gently bring it backwards to extend the hip. Try to straighten the knee.

Then, grasp the knee and bring the knee forwards to flex the hip.

Hip Abduction and Adduction

With your dog lying on its side, hold the leg above the stifle and gently lift the leg upwards and away from the midline of their body.

Then, grasp the lower leg and gently lift it upwards towards the ceiling.

Passive Rage of Motion For Rear Limbs

Gently work the dog’s limb through its normal range of movement. Move the limb in both directions.

Keep the movement slow and fluid. You should aim for 10-20 repetitions.

Passive Rage of Motion for Front Limbs

Gently work the dog’s limb through its normal range of movement. Move the limb in both directions.

Keep the movement slow and fluid. You should aim for 10-20 repetitions.