Many of us have, at some point, sustained an injury that required a slow, gradual healing process accompanied by a physical therapy regimen to ensure that our bodies healed properly while maintaining necessary strength and flexibility. The same attention and patience should be administered while helping our pets recover from injuries or to stay in peak condition as they age. There are many activities that may sound more like boot camp activities at your gym, but are great for our healing animals. These include (but are certainly not limited to) the following…

– Swimming
– Underwater Treadmill
– Passive range of motion exercises during which a caretaker gently flexes, extends, and/or rotates affected joint
– Walking up and down ramps and stairs
– Repeated sit-stand exercises
– Weaving through a line of poles or cones
– Walking in figure eights
– Stepping over horizontal blocks or poles set at varying heights and distances apart

Of course, your pet’s condition or injury will dictate the specific activity that is best for them, which is why consultation with trained professionals is very important. Whatever type of therapy your veterinarian or therapist recommends, be sure to keep to the schedule. Physical therapy is definitely tough love in action, but your pet will certainly thank you for it just as soon as they’re back in tip-top shape!