Dog laying down

Therapeutic Exercise

If your cat or dog needs a new rehabilitation program, exercise training from Elk Rapids Animal Hospital may speed up the healing process and strengthen their muscles. Pet therapeutic exercise offers a wide range of advantages for pets, and it’s ideal for pre-surgical and post-surgical animals. With the proper exercise program, pets can relieve pain and build muscle by engaging in the appropriate physical activities for their bodies.

What You Need to Know About Therapeutic Exercise Programs for Pets

Exercise training is a treatment designed to help heal and strengthen the body. While physical therapy is common for patients undergoing surgery, many conditions may call for a special exercise routine.

Elk Rapids Animal Hospital treats various illnesses and injuries in patients, from sprains and fractures to arthritis, spinal stenosis and neurological conditions. We also use therapy to manage pain caused by obesity, aging and other complications such as dysplasia and intervertebral disc disease.

While some pets may require other pain management approaches, both cats and dogs can benefit from it. If your dog or cat needs to build endurance, balance or muscle, several types of exercises can help. Orthotic brace fittings and wheelchair fittings for pets can also be implemented into a training regimen if your pet has an injury or disability.

Benefits of Therapeutic Exercise for Pets

A pet therapy plan provides a safe, comfortable way for injured or ill animals to enjoy the exercise they need. While delays in healing can place extra discomfort on your pet, therapy often helps speed up this process — and many dogs find it to be a fun and entertaining experience!

Some of the benefits of our patient therapy training services include:

  • Improved balance and proprioception
  • Stronger limbs and protected joints
  • Increased flexibility and range of motion
  • Improved independence of movement
  • Decreased pain and faster healing
  • Slower disease progression

How Does Pet Therapy Training Work?

At Elk Rapids, we develop therapy plans based on the needs of our patients. Exercise training integrates well with nutrition and weight management routines, and it assists the healing process for serious injuries. After planning the routine, we instruct the owner so they can be fully involved throughout the process.

Engaging your pet in therapy means commiting to a regular exercise routine. In many cases, we assign multiple activities and exercises while using treats and rewards to keep the dog or cat engaged.

Common Types of Pet Therapy Exercises

Whether your pet needs a brace or wheel cart fitting, we can develop a routine that suits your pet’s body and comfort level.

Some of the common types of exercises include balance and strength-building activities. For example, many training programs include balancing balls and discs, which helps strengthen stability and perception. Therapists and pet owners can also guide their dogs and cats through stretches, cardio exercises and light weight lifting exercises.

Pet Therapeutic Exercise in Elk Rapids, MI

Elk Rapids Animal Hospital uses personalized therapeutic exercise programs to treat cats and dogs who have injuries and surgical needs. You can retrieve a referral from another vet and reach out to discuss your pet’s options. Contact us today if you have any questions about the types of pet therapeutic exercises we do in Elk Rapids.