Can physiotherapy help dogs with arthritis?

Many of the patients we see on a day to day basis are suffering with arthritic conditions, for a multitude of reasons. Arthritis is a degenerative disease that affects one in five dogs during their lifetime. It causes inflammation and stiffness in the joints, making it difficult for dogs to move around freely. Once a dog has arthritis, it can never be cured. However some simple things can make a huge difference to their overall comfort levels.

Understanding Arthritis in Dogs

Before we delve into how physiotherapy can help, it's essential to understand what dog arthritis entails. Arthritis is a chronic disease that affects the joints causing pain and discomfort. It results from the wear and tear of cartilage, which acts as a cushion between the bones in a joint. When this cartilage wears down, bones rub against each other, leading to inflammation and pain.

The most common type of arthritis in dogs is osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease (DJD). This condition primarily affects older dogs but can also occur due to injuries or genetic predisposition in younger ones.

How Physiotherapy Can Help Dogs with Arthritis

Physiotherapy has proven to be an effective treatment for managing arthritis in humans, and it's no different for our canine companions. Here are some ways physiotherapy can help dogs suffering from arthritis:

1. Pain Management: Physiotherapy techniques such as massage therapy, heat therapy, cold therapy, and therapeutic exercises can significantly reduce pain associated with arthritis.

2. Improved Mobility: Regular physiotherapy sessions can help improve your dog's flexibility and mobility by strengthening their muscles and improving joint function.

3. Weight Management: Overweight dogs are more likely to develop arthritis due to the extra pressure on their joints. A physiotherapist can provide guidance on exercise and diet to help manage your dog's weight, reducing the strain on their joints.

4. Enhanced Quality of Life: By managing pain and improving mobility, physiotherapy can significantly enhance your dog's quality of life. They'll be able to participate in their favorite activities again, leading to a happier and healthier life.

Physiotherapy Techniques for Dogs with Arthritis

There are several physiotherapy techniques that can help manage arthritis in dogs. These include:

1. Massage Therapy: This involves manipulating the soft tissues to relieve muscle tension, improve circulation, reduce inflammation, and promote relaxation.

2. Hydrotherapy: This is a low-impact exercise performed in water that helps strengthen muscles without putting pressure on the joints. It's particularly beneficial for dogs with arthritis as it allows them to exercise without pain.

3. Therapeutic Exercises: These are specific exercises designed to improve strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination. They can be tailored to your dog's individual needs and abilities.

4. Laser Therapy: This uses light energy to stimulate cell regeneration and increase blood circulation, helping reduce inflammation and accelerate healing.

5. Supporting the dog with a good quality joint supplement or CBD oil has been shown to be effective at reducing the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis, as well as delaying the progression of the disease. We decided to devlop our own as we were unhappy with both the quality and cost of the leading brands, and the feedback from clients has been astounding. To read more click here Supplements


While there is no cure for dog arthritis, physiotherapy offers an effective way to manage its symptoms and improve your pet's quality of life. It's important to remember that every dog is unique; what works for one might not work for another. Therefore, it's crucial to consult with a professional canine physiotherapist who can assess your dog's condition and develop a personalized treatment plan.

In conclusion, if you have a dog suffering from arthritis, consider exploring the benefits of physiotherapy. With regular sessions and a dedicated approach, you can help your furry friend live a more comfortable and active life despite their condition.

If you have a pet with an arthritic condition and would like us to help, call Scott on 07787 568581, or you can message us here Contact us