How do I make my dog’s legs stronger? Here’s What to Do Next

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Why are my dog’s hind legs weakening?

While the weakening of a dog’s hind legs is not uncommon as they enter their golden years, it’s important to note that the root cause should be identified as a matter of priority.

It is vital that you don’t simply put it down to a natural phase in the ageing process. Ensure that you seek immediate professional attention to avoid a deterioration of the problem and to address any pain your dog may be experiencing.

Here are just some of the reasons why your pet may be experiencing issues with their back leg strength:

  • Arthritis – a common cause of hind leg weakening, this condition causes deterioration of the cartilage that can lead to pain and inflammation. It can also lead to lethargy and a general reluctance to play and engage in active behaviour. It tends to be a more regular occurrence in overweight dogs and larger breeds.
  • Hip Dysplasia – a chronic condition that forms when the ball and socket of the hip joint rub together, leading to a loss of cartilage and a general loosening of the joint.
  • Muscle Atrophy – this causes loss of muscle mass due to lack of activity as a result of pain or illness. While symptoms such as dragging the feet may be apparent, they will also cause physical changes like a shrunken hind end.
  • Degenerative Myelopathy – this condition of the nervous system causes weakness of the hind legs through muscle loss, leading to eventual paralysis. While there is currently no available treatment, regular physical therapy can have a hugely positive effect on your dog’s quality of life.
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease – sudden mobility loss will be a key indicator of this issue, which is caused by a slipped disc. It’s vital to seek medical attention as quickly as possible if you suspect intervertebral disc disease, as if untreated it could lead to more serious conditions such as herniated discs or even paralysis.
  • Building Muscle with Exercise

  • Question How can I make my dog more muscular? Lauren Novack Certified Dog Behavior Consultant Lauren Novack is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant at Behavior Vets NYC where she helps fearful, anxious, and aggressive pets and their owners. She has completed coursework for her MS in Applied Behavior Analysis at Hunter College. Lauren’s research explores the intersection between training practices and animal welfare. She currently serves on the Editorial Advisory Board for Daily Paws and has appeared on Fox & Friends, Rachel Ray, and various news outlets with her dog Grayson. Lauren Novack Certified Dog Behavior Consultant Expert Answer Take them to a fitness course meant for dogs. That way, you can spend quality time with them off-leash while they exercise.
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