Does your Dog Need Rehab?

After surgery or a major injury, it's common for individuals to seek rehabilitation and therapy to help them get back on their feet, so it's only logical that these same services could be provided to pets as well.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the world of pet rehabilitation has grown from small-scale boutiques and specialists to a viable option in veterinary medicine. With more and more owners turning to alternative techniques such as acupuncture, hydrotherapy and orthopedic rehabilitation, it has become easier for pet parents to practice animal wellness and ensure that their furry friends avoid the pain and discomfort that comes with injuries and elderly diseases.

Dr. Debra A. Canapp has specialized in pet rehabilitation and attended the Canine Rehabilitation Institute in Wellington, Florida. She saw the importance of the growth of this practice within the veterinary field, and believes it should be a logical next step when a pet has a significant injury or when looking to avoid surgery.

"We've always thought dogs should receive the same care as humans, and that's the human model: You are seen by an orthopedic and then you go to physical therapy," Canapp told the news source. "People are looking at the big-ticket item of surgery and trying to hold off on that, so they're opting for the less expensive rehab."

In many ways, pet rehabilitation is the "last hope" vet hospital for animals suffering from chronic pain or dealing with a major disability. In many cases, pet insurance companies will cover the costs if a veterinarian recommends the rehab, so the practice has become a truly viable option in the pet health world.

Aside from treating injuries, pet therapy centers also respond to the needs of geriatric dogs that are experiencing pain from arthritis and other joint issues. Even pet dieting programs have become options for pet parents who have let their furry friend's weight get out of control.

With more and more pet rehabilitation specialists opening up practices all around the country, the many services they provide could be at the forefront of pet owners' minds when their dog is entering old age or is recovering from a major injury. It could be a non-invasive way of treating a pet's discomfort and helping improve his quality of life throughout his golden years.