Want to keep your dog more mobile and healthier for longer? Of course you do!
So what is the Number 1 cause of injury to dogs around the home and what can you do about it today? ….Drum roll…..
If you hadn’t already guessed it the answer is…. Slippy Flooring.
Slippy Flooring? Really? Okay, let me explain, this information makes perfect sense and I urge you to share it with all your dog owning friends as it is GOLD.
The dog is what is called a Phalangeal Creature; to you and me that means that they walk on their toes, (whereas the human walks on the sole of their foot). The dog needs to be able to grip the ground with their claws to gain purchase; therefore it makes perfect sense that walking or chasing around on laminate flooring, playing ball on slippy tiles and even getting up from a lying down position is more challenging on a slippy floor to a dog.
The human equivalent of slippy flooring would be if you had an ice rink in your lounge. I kid you not. Can you imagine how much it would hurt every time you tried to get up or walk at speed across the floor? You would be falling over every day, several times a day, be bruised, sore and injured, but the muscles wouldn’t have chance to recover and repair and so your mobility would just keep worsening. You’d get slower, stiffer, less mobile and wouldn’t want to exercise because you were hurting. You may start limping because your knee or hip hurts from constantly slipping or you may have to change your posture to cope with the pain.
Repetitive Stress Injury (or RSI) is really common in dogs as the repeated stress of slipping on the floor causes tears (or Strains), to the muscle, weakening it further and leading to further muscular injury, as well as exacerbating orthopaedic issues like Arthritis, Elbow Dysplasia and Hip Dysplasia.
You will see muscular injury in your dog as:
- Slowing Down overnight/old before their time
- Coat Changes
- Gait and Posture Changes
So what can you do? Well although Galen the Greek Physician may have been wrong about his theories of blood circulation (he believed that there were 2 lots of blood in the body as well as believing the liver produced blood; doh!) he was right when he stated “The Physician is only Natures Assistant”.
In this context it means you can go and see as many therapists for your dog as you wish; whether it’s a canine osteopath, a McTimoney chiropractor, hydrotherapist, canine massage therapist, physiotherapist, acupuncturist and even a vet, but until you, the owner, change your dog’s environment you will keep seeing the issue. It’s common sense really.
So whats the best things you can do for your dog at home?
It’s simple. Anywhere there is laminated or wooden flooring or slippy tiles put rubber backed non slip matting down.
You won’t believe the difference it makes to your dog’s stability and everyday comfort. The flooring we have in our homes is not a natural environment for the dog and is another reason why dogs who have had their Dew Claws removed are more predisposed to weaker wrists, elbows and in turn the shoulder, (but that’s another discussion!)
Any responsible canine healthcare practitioner should always ask basic assessment questions on your dog’s living environment to assess for things that may be causing or exacerbating injury in their everyday Activities of Daily Living. After all, why mask the symptom when you can address the cause?
So don’t delay, put those runners down today! It’s the easiest thing you can do to help your dog NOW!
Author: Natalie Lenton
For more information please visit Natalie Lenton’s biography