Balance and stability are to so important to many aspects of health for dogs and humans.
It can help dogs of any age, from puppy development skills to the senior dog that has lost strength and stability from age related weakness.
It is really important to think of safety and understand how you utilise balance equipment. In human physical therapy, as with canine rehabilitation, we are focused on functional strength and functional mobility.
We first need to think about what we are asking our dogs to do on a daily basis:
* Are they hanging around the house all day – sleeping/resting?
* Are they active? Sporting or hunting dog?
* Do they have carpet or wood/ tile floors? (We are going to need to think about getting our flooring right for our home gym!)
* Or do they need mobility assistance to go outside for a bathroom break?
* Are they performance dogs? Agility dogs or perhaps canicross?
The goals of balance and stability activities are to enhance the proprioceptive feedback (body awareness), encourage weight shifts and muscle contractions, facilitate balance and function.
Remember, if you have any concerns about whether or not your dog is healthy enough to try these activities, seek the advice of your Veterinarian first.