You may be wondering why regular chiropractic check ups are so important for your dog. Why should you take the time and spend the money on your dog who looks perfectly fine? After all, they are just a dog, right? Then in a few short years, you notice mobility issues and you panic. You want a "pill" to make it better. Unfortunately, by then it is often too late. While measures can be taken to make the dog more comfortable, preventative chiropractic care from the beginning would most likely have added quality years to your dog's life.
Innocent Activities May Be Injuring Your Dog
Chiropractic care for dogs is a preventative measure for insuring a happy, healthy dog who lives a long life. Regular chiropractic care is essential in the care of well adjusted dogs. Typically, a check up by a AVCA certified animal chiropractor 2-4 times a year is recommended to maintain a healthy animal. However, there are many activities that may cause a dogs spine to become misaligned. Therefore, It is important to be gentle when handling a dog and monitor activities. Listed below is a list of "innocent" activities that may cause damage to the dog's neck and spine. While young, these problems may not appear to impede on a dogs daily life, but if left untreated, they will cause problems when the dog is older and may even shorten a dogs life.
- Choke collars that are pulled when high on the neck are damaging. When walking your dog, keep the collar low on the neck. Whenever possible, use a harness on your dog versus a slip/choke collar. A harness is especially recommended if the dog has not been trained and pulls you down the street.
- Never use the collar and tail to hoist the dog onto a table.
- When playing, remember not to exceed the cervical spines normal range of motion. Avoid tug-of-war and double nelson hugs around the neck. Tug-of-war play that goes beyond the normal range of motion of the neck is damaging.
- Running in a field that has holes which may cause the dog to trip. Have your dog run on level terrain.
- Never pick the dog up by his/her front legs.
- Rough housing with the dog and using his neck for leverage to tussle is never recommended.
- Ask your groomer and veterinarian not to string the neck with a restraint high on the neck behind the ears.
- Ask your veterinarian not to hype-rextend or hyper-flex the dog’s head.
- Never slap the dog in the face, head, or neck.
- Using soft Frisbees are advisable because hard Frisbees are hard on the jaw joint.
- Anytime anesthesia is used the neck is hyper-extended. Therefore, it is a good idea to have the spine checked after any surgery.
- For those who show their dogs: For those who need to “show” the bite by opening the dog’s mouth, ask the judge to get down to the level of the dog’s head, then open the mouth yourself, in order to count the teeth. Prevent the dog’s head from being pushed backwards and upwards.Try using a dental mirror to assist the judge in viewing your dog’s teeth.