6 common mistakes people make with their dogs that can cause back pain.

1. Not exercising your dog.

Exercise should be regular and if possible daily. It doesn't have to be a 3 hour walk in the cold Canadian winter. Short daily walks are better than doing nothing all week and taking them out for several hours on the weekend. Some ideas: certain toys where you can hide a ball or even a treat can make your dog more active. Playing catch or tug-of-war is also good exercise. Try training your dog to walk on a treadmill. (this may require professional help from a trainer) Inviting your friend's dog over for playtime is also a good idea. Hiding treats in the house can make your dog active and stimulates his brain.

2. Letting your dog jump from furniture that is too high.

This is especially important for toy breeds. One thing you can do is to put a step and get your dog used to jumping on that step or picking them up.

3. Letting your dog become overweight. Most of a dog's weight is under her/his spine. Extra weight causes stress on the vertebrae and could cause VSC (vertebral subluxation complex).

Dogs should be thinner at the waist and you should feel their ribs slightly. Exercise and healthy portions of food and treats can help reduce their weight. Ask your veterinarian to look at your dog if you are not sure if he/she is overweight.

4. Picking her up the wrong way. It is important to support the spine from the front and the back as you lift your dog . Picking him/her up from the shoulder or belly only puts undue stress on his/her spine.

6. Slippery floors.

Most of us dog owners like to have floors that are easily washed However, dogs often run when called. Unfortunately that can cause them to slip or fall and hurt themselves. This in turn can also cause back pain, limping, difficulty walking. Try putting a rubber backed runner in the hallway so your dog can run without slipping.

7. Waiting until the dog has a problem to have her checked by a chiropractor.

Your dog's spine is the most important part of his/her body. However most dogs never get checked by their chiropractors. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Call us today to have your dog checked for VSC.

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