Using Canine Physical Therapy Balls

Canine physical therapy may be recommended when the dog is recovering after an injury or illness, but may also be useful to keep the dog in shape. Using a physical therapy ball can be very beneficial for recovering canines and healthy dogs alike.

Benefits of Physical Therapy Ball

A physical therapy ball is used for dogs that have suffered a limb injury or are recovering from an illness. However, the ball may be used in healthy dogs as well, to maintain their fitness level.

The use of the physical therapy ball has many benefits for a healthy dog or a pet that is recuperating:

  • It will exercise and strengthen the dog’s muscles without putting stress on the joints
  • Allowing the bones and tissues to recover
  • Keep your dog fit and prevent obesity
  • Improves balance and coordination
  • Focuses on the core muscles

How to Use a Physical Therapy Ball

The physical therapy ball is also known as physioball or theraball and may be found in pet health stores.

The physical therapy ball may be difficult to use at first, as the dog may be out of balance, but if you have some patience with your pet, you will see that he will start getting used to the exercise ball.

You will need to get a rug that will not slip on the floor, which will be the support for the physical therapy ball. Alternatively, you can go in a park or in your yard, but make sure you place the ball on an area with lots of grass, so the ball won’t slip from under the dog.

Place the dog’s front legs on the ball and allow him to find his balance. If this is difficult, hold your dog by his back, until he is secure enough to be on his own.

Move the ball from one side to the other, but slowly, so that the dog can move along. Alternatively, you can move the dog from one side to the other, allowing him to maintain his balance with his front legs placed on the ball. Perform 10 moves back and forth and reward your pet with a treat or kind words.

As your dog gets more comfortable with the exercise ball, you will be able to exercise him for several minutes.

As the training advances, you may encourage the dog to move around the physical therapy ball, by stepping on the side. Make sure to supervise his moves, as he may easily get injured. You may stimulate the dog to step and move by tapping the thigh.

Additional Exercise for Dogs

Your vet may recommend a few extra exercise routines that are suitable for your pet’s condition, as not all activities are helpful while your dog is recovering. Jogging may not be a good choice, while swimming and low impact exercise can be performed with no risks involved.