How to Apply Dog Leg Braces

If your dog has been injured or suffers from a debilitating joint disease such as Lyme disease, your veterinarian may recommend that you use one of the many types of dog leg braces that are available. Depending on the condition of your dog, and the type of injury your dog has sustained, there are different designs and styles of leg braces that you may choose from. Some are made from leather, while others may be made from plastic or stainless steel. Regardless of the material used in their construction, dog leg braces are all designed to support that injured leg and keep it straight, immobile and prevent the dog from further injuring it while it heals.

Considerations for Your Dog's Leg Brace

The type of brace that your dog needs will depend you dog's condition, injury and healing requirements, but the size of the brace will obviously be based on the height and weight of the dog. Your veterinarian may have the type of brace that your dog needs in his office; if he does, you should get it there as the sooner you can allow the dog to use the brace, the faster the dog's injuries will begin to heal.

However, there may be times that the veterinarian simply tells you what type of leg brace that you need, and instructs you to purchase it at a local pet store or an online pet equipment and supply dealer. If this is the case you will need to know how to purchase the right size brace for your dog.

Sizing Your Dog's Leg Brace

When it is time to shop for a brace, the sizing of the brace is critical. If you are looking for common types of dog leg braces, such as splints for broken legs or a hock support brace for offering additional support to the dog's ankle, then you may be able to get the brace from a larger pet store. If this is the case, you should take your dog with you, and let the sales people at the store choose the correct size and type of brace. Many large pet stores have personnel on hand that are quite experienced at helping customers find the types of braces that have been prescribed by their veterinarian.

If you will require a specialty brace or one that needs to be custom made, you will need to have your veterinarian create a plaster mold or cast of the leg(s) of the dog. You will then be able to take the mold to a pet supply center and order the brace. Alternatively, there are several good online companies that provide this service for you as well. Many of them offer very fast turnaround times for production and shipping to ensure that your dog has the needed brace as soon as possible.

Once you have the required brace for your dog, follow the manufacturer's instruction for applying the brace or putting it on the dog. If you are unable to follow the directions, or if it is difficult, then ask your veterinarian for assistance. If you purchased your dog's brace at a pet supply store, the sales person should be able to help you apply the brace right there in the store.