Canine rehab is all about improving quality of life and decreasing pain by helping dogs enhance mobility of muscles and joints. Physical therapy may enhance recovery from injury, surgery, degenerative diseases, age-related diseases, obesity and other orthopedic or neurological conditions.

In recent years, canine rehabilitation has started to extend its scope from curative to preventative care. For instance, improving mobility may drive a reduction in weight which, in turn, may help moderate the impact of age-related issues such as osteoarthritis. Certain other techniques may help maximize physical potential and improve athletic performance in canine sports.

Here are some of the most modern techniques:

  • Acupuncture
  • Balance exercises
  • Coordination exercises
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Massage
  • Passive range of motion
  • Strengthening exercises
  • Thermo and cryotherapy

Whether your dog is going through a rehabilitation program after ACL surgery or is taking advantage of new pain management techniques, here are a couple of ways to see how he’s doing.

1. Monitor quality of rest as a proxy for pain

Dogs in discomfort don’t get good rest. Like humans, dogs in pain often try to shift position to change angles and pressure points seeking relief. This is pretty easy to spot in the FitBark mobile app. As your dog heals or improves from a certain medical condition that gives him discomfort, you’ll typically notice a corresponding increase in his sleep score…

FitBark_Daily_View_iPhone_Black-350x574 | How can I monitor my dog's rehabilitation?…as well as a point decrease in his hourly activity at rest.

FitBark_Hourly_View_iPhone_Black | How can I monitor my dog's rehabilitation?

2. Monitor daily activity before, during and after rehabilitation

Imagine a typical 13-week recovery from ACL surgery. Now you can work with your veterinarian to monitor how rehabilitation is progressing compared with two benchmarks. The first is your dog’s daily activity baseline before surgery, which you’ll be aware of if you have at least a week or two worth of FitBark data. The second is your dog’s ranking vs. dogs of similar age and weight, or similar breed, which we send you in your weekly report. You can visualize these rankings in greater detail on FitBark Explore (requires a desktop computer).

FitBark_Monthly_Rehabilitation | How can I monitor my dog's rehabilitation?

Definitely recommend Loving our Fitbark. Alfie was recovering from an injury and needed to build up the strength in his leg slowly. His Fitpoints allowed me to monitor his activities more accurately and know when he needed a bit more crate rest. Now hes back to full strength we've synced with my Fitbit and we're getting back to full fitness together - he's winning! His daycare chums are in his pack and I can keep an eye on what they're all up to when I'm not there. He's a LOT more active than I knew! Highly recommend.

FitBark Customer

Rex jumped off the bed and broke his leg. The FitBark has helped his surgeon to see how much movement he's getting in the whole post op and rehab phase.

Sitela A.

Most helpful Very helpful in rehabilitation of a dog with two reconstructed knees. I can at the same time "copy" his stats to his vet, who can recommend more or less activity as needed. It also, along with the dogs "encouragement", helps me get more active and graphically compare his stats to mine (via Fitbit). Very cool.

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FitBark_Dog_Smiling_Contact-uai-258x145 | How can I monitor my dog's rehabilitation?
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You have questions. The FitBark app has answers.

The FitBark Dog Activity Monitor brings to light deep health & behavioral insights you can act on.