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Exercise and Rehab Tips for Tripawds

Many Tripawd pawrents worry that at some point, their dogs might injure one of  their remaining three legs.

But living life as a three-legged dog doesn’t have to mean living in fear of injury. Our friends at California Animal Rehabilitation say that there are things pawrents can do to reduce the risk of pain.

Remember these tips from CARE’s article, Proper Exercise for Your Pet.

  • Warm Up: Would you go on a run before stretching? Neither should your dog. Do gentle stretches with your dog after your own warm-ups. Then, take a warm-up walk before any hard play, and cool down for a few minutes afterward too.
  • Limit Explosive Exercise: Rough play should be limited to 10 to 15 minutes at a time, two to three times a day to avoid injury. At the dog park, make your Tripawd rest in a shady area in-between hard play, and encourage him to drink water.
  • Know the Warning Signs of Over Exercise: If your Tripawd lags behind or sits down during a walk or play, then he’s gone too far. It’s a fallacy to think that a pet should collapse and sleep for  hours after exercising. This is a sign of over-exercising and possibly even pain.
  • Keep Your Expectations in Check: While we encourage pawrents to let Tripawds be dogs and live to the fullest, it’s important to take your dog’s limitations, age and breed into consideration when exercising. Just as you wouldn’t ask your grandma to run 5 miles with you, you shouldn’t ask that of your Tripawd either.

Read the complete version of CARE’s article, Proper Exercise for Your Pet. We also recommend finding a board-certified canine rehabilitation veterinarian to help your Tripawd recover and stay strong. Dr. Waldman of CARE advises:

Make sure that any physical therapy techs or assistants working on your dog are also working with a rehabilitation certified veterinarian, physical therapist, or ideally both.

Try the Canine Rehabilitation Institute and the University of Tennessee Canine Rehabilitation Gateway to find a therapist near you.

You can also study physical therapy and massage techniques for your dog, with these great Amazon books:

The Healthy Way to Stretch Your Dog: A Physical Therapy Approach

Stretching is an important part of human health, and dogs are not that far removed in their needs. This book explains the importance of stretching for one’s dog, and how proper use of the technique can help dogs live a longer life. All dogs can benefit from this practice, whether they are active or sedentary, as it helps their joints and muscles no matter how much or how little they are used. (This) is a fine acquisition for those dedicated to the health and longevity of their canine friend. – Midwest Book Review.

Canine Massage: A Complete Reference Manual

Use massage to help your dog relax, to condition the canine athlete, to assist in recovery from injuries or to ease chronic pain. Learn the techniques of a recognized expert in the field so that you can bring the well-known benefits of massage to your own dog or become a canine massage specialist. New edition has over 100 illustrations and 100 photos, detailed examinations of muscular stress points, diagnoses and treatments. You will learn the basics of canine anatomy and kinesiology; massage movements, pressures, techniques and systems; routines designed to address specific health problems; stretching and hydrotherapy techniques; tips on how to run a canine massage business, and more. Excellent source of information on dog anatomy as well.

The Well-Connected Dog: A Guide to Canine Acupressure
This is an easy to follow manual with lots of illustrations, photographs and charts. Acupressure connects you with 1000’s of years of natural healing and has proven to enhance performance, health and overall well-being. This book gives you the tools to participate in your dog’s optimal health.

4 thoughts on “Exercise and Rehab Tips for Tripawds”

  1. Excellent blog!!! I have two of those three books you list. The first one listed I don’t have but would like to get that one too 😉 Highly recommend the acupressure one and the 2nd massage book listed. Use them often.

    Tracy & Maggie – who benefits from massage regularly she says!

  2. thanks for great info! based on this blog post, and tracy’s recommendation, we just ordered the acupressure and second massage book! it’s really great to get this type of info – helps make me a better sister to the girls!!


  3. Way cool Charon! The Acupuressure book should compliment your pup’s acupuncture! I always worked on the spots that were done by my vet with acupuncture, by doing accupressure…because I live far away from her and visits were far apart…

    And Maggie says that massage ROCKS. It really helps her when she gets sore from doing too much hoppin’…

    Tracy, Maggie’s Mom

  4. Y’all, it makes us feel so good to know that there’s pawrents finding posts like this so useful, thanks for the compliments and the feedback! Charon, let us know what you think of the books OK? More importantly, tell us how Gayle likes them!

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