It’s hard to look at a puppy bouncing around in the grass and believe that your pup needs wellness care. After all, most of us associate youth with health, vitality, and energy. You may be asking yourself “is my dog too young for chiropractic care?” If so, read on for more information about the benefits of chiropractic care for dogs, why your young dog may benefit from chiropractic care, and how chiropractic care for dogs is similar to chiropractic care for humans.
What is chiropractic care for dogs?
Chiropractic care works on the neuromusculoskeletal system of the body. This means that it affects the nervous system, the muscular system, and the skeletal system of your dog’s body. Each of these systems affects your dog’s body in a different way. Read on to learn more about how!
The Nervous System
The nervous system regulates the automatic functions that happen in your dog’s body, as well as the voluntary functions like movement. When the nervous system is functioning properly, your dog is thinking clearly, moving easily, and all of the body’s various functions (for example, digestion) are happening naturally and without issue.
When the nervous system is functioning improperly, the opposite is true. Your dog may have trouble following commands and directions, may seem confused, and may not appear to be experiencing normal body function.
When a nerve is damaged or inflamed in your dog’s body, this can also cause difficulties. A damaged or inflamed nerve can lead to pain and discomfort, causing them to yelp in certain movements, or whine seemingly without cause. Nervous system disorders can also cause seizures in dogs.
The Muscular System
The muscular system allows your dog to move through life! The muscles of your dog’s body not only encase their bones and joints, helping to protect the internal organs, but also allow your dog to move from place to place. When the muscular system is functioning correctly, your dog can move easily, turning their head around without pain or discomfort, jumping on and off of surfaces without pain, and displaying general flexibility and mobility.
If your dog is not experiencing proper function of their muscular system, they may have limited flexibility and mobility. They may exhibit difficulty turning their head, getting on and off of surfaces and objects, or running and playing as they normally would. They might also exhibit signs of pain and discomfort.
The Skeletal System
Your dog’s skeletal system is the foundation for every other body system. Everything rests on your dog’s bones, and relies on the health of their bones to function. Nothing can substitute for strong and aligned bones in your dog’s body. In order to facilitate the movement or function of any other process, your dog’s skeletal system must be intact.
A healthy skeletal system will allow the rest of your dog’s body to function normally. In fact, if your dog’s skeletal system is healthy, you shouldn’t notice or think about it at all. It’s only when the skeletal system has been injured or is experiencing imbalance that you will usually notice symptoms.
If your dog’s bones or joints are misaligned, you may see your dog struggling to complete normal activities and tasks, experiencing immune difficulties or lack of energy, and seeming to be in pain or discomfort.
Why might my dog need chiropractic care?
Your dog needs chiropractic care if they seem to be experiencing any distress in their nerves, muscles, or joints and bones.
If your dog is experiencing nerve distress, they may yelp or exhibit signs of pain when they move. If your dog is experiencing muscle distress, they may have limited mobility, exhibit signs of pain during movement, or seem to have less control than usual over their limbs. If your dog is experiencing distress in the bones and joints, then you may hear their bones and joints making unusual sounds, they may be resistant to moving or running, and they may limp or show pain upon putting pressure on their limbs and feet.
Why might a puppy need chiropractic care?
Believe it or not, it is easy for puppies to become injured! Puppies are often energetic and exuberant, throwing caution to the wind as they explore and interact with their environment. This makes puppies far more likely to fall off of surfaces, injure themselves while jumping or playing, or experience an accident. Although puppies and young dogs often have a “rubbery” or “flexible” quality to their bodies, this doesn’t prevent their bones, joints, muscles and nerves from being injured.
If you notice your puppy exhibiting less enthusiasm than usual for life, it may be time for a visit to the chiropractor—particularly if you have witnessed them suffer a seemingly minor injury. This may be enough to misalign their joints, cause inflammation, or strain a muscle—all of which can lead to severe pain.
How is chiropractic care for dogs similar to chiropractic for humans?
Just like with human babies, chiropractic care is highly beneficial and recommended even for puppies. Regular visits to your pet chiropractor will ensure that your pup’s body is well supported as they grow, as well as correct any injuries they may receive during normal puppy shenanigans. To discover just how transformative chiropractic care can be for your pup, book your appointment today.