Gyms have all sorts of balance and stability equipment these days.
They may include traditional exercise balls, foam pads of all sizes, Bosu balls, and inflatable discs.
Why is that? Well, balance and stability are to so important to many aspects of health for humans.
It can also be of major benefit to dogs. The Fitpaws range of equipment is specially designed for this purpose.
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Dogs of any age, from puppy development skills to the senior dog that has lost strength and stability from age related weakness.
In human physical therapy, as with canine rehabilitation, we are focused on functional strength and functional mobility.
We first define 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?
Or do they need mobility assistance to go outside for a bathroom break?
Are they performance dogs? Agility dogs or perhaps dock-diving?
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.