Click an exercise below to see illustrations and details:

Balance Board:

What is a balance board exercise?

A balance board is a platform that rocks. To perform this exercise, your pet's front or back legs are placed on the board and then the board is gently rocked in a slow, controlled fashion.

Why were balance board exercises prescribed?

Balance board exercises help improve balance and coordination. The boards also encourage pets to use muscle groups that they may avoid using during normal walking, such as an injured leg, to avoid pain. This weight shifting helps to maintain and build muscle mass and helps with coordination.

What sources can I use for the balance board?

Commercial balance boards are available and can be purchased at your local sporting goods stores or online.

What are the treatment guidelines?

Check with your veterinarian on when and at what level you should start your pet with this exercise depending on their stage of OA. Place the balance board on a flat surface on the ground or floor. Depending on your pets individual needs and joints affected by OA, your vet can instruct you on whether to place the front or back legs on the balance board, leaving the other limbs on the ground. Rock the board gently form side to side, front to back, or in all directions.

What are the safety considerations?

Make sure you support your pet to avoid injury from falls. Be sure the surface area of the board provides traction to prevent slipping. If your pet shows signs of severe discomfort, such as growling, snapping, or yelping, stop the exercise immediately and contact your veterinarian for additional instructions.





Reference:

Millis DL, Levine D, Taylor RA. Canine Rehabilitation & Physical Therapy. St. Louis. 2004. Saunders. p 490





Reference:

Millis DL, Levine D, Taylor RA. Canine Rehabilitation & Physical Therapy. St. Louis. 2004. Saunders. p 490

  • A dog is seen here leaning to the right side on a balance board as the handler supports the left side.

  • A board with side rails, as seen here, can be used to safely exercise all legs at one time.

  • Balance boards are a flat board with a ball on the bottom side, as seen here, to allow the board to rock. Balance boards can be purchased at sporting goods stores.

 
Click here to find out the stages of OA and suggested exercises. Find a dog park in your area.