How To Strengthen Old Dogs Hind Legs – 10 Tips

Before you start reading this blog post, I want you to think about your favorite old dog. Got them in mind? Good. Now, think about how much they mean to you and how much you would do anything for them.

That’s what this blog post is all about – helping out our old furry friends in any way we can.

And today, that means learning how to strengthen old dogs’ hind legs. Keen to find out? Here are 10 practical tips that will help you do just that!

But first…

5 Symptoms Of Hind Legs In Senior Dogs

Just like humans, as dogs age, they can start to experience problems with their joints and muscles. This is especially true for their hind legs which carry around 60% of their weight.

Here are 5 signs that your senior dog may be starting to experience problems with its hind legs:

1. Weakness

This is probably the most common symptom and is usually the first sign that something is wrong. If your dog is having trouble getting up or seems to be dragging its hind legs, it’s a sign that they’re weak and losing strength.

2. Difficulties In Walking Or Exercising

If your dog is struggling to walk or exercise like it used to, it’s likely experiencing weakness or pain in its hind legs. This can make it difficult for them to get around and may cause them to slow down considerably.

3. Collapses And Unsteady Walking

As the muscles in your dog’s hind legs weaken, they may start to collapse when they try to stand up. Furthermore, they may also start to walk in an unsteady manner, with their back end wobbling from side to side.

4. Trouble Getting Up From Lying Position

If your dog is having difficulty getting up after lying down, it’s another sign that its hind legs are weak. This is because they need strong muscles to push themselves up from a lying position.

5. Trembling, Limping, Panting, Or Other Signs Of Pain

If your dog is trembling, limping, panting, or showing any other signs of pain, their hind legs are likely bothering them. This could be due to weakness, arthritis, or another condition.

Causes For Old Dogs Hind Legs 

Now that you know the symptoms to look out for, let’s take a look at some of the potential causes of hind leg weakness in senior dogs.

Arthritis

One of the most common causes of hind leg weakness in senior dogs is arthritis. This is a condition that affects the joints and can cause pain, stiffness, and inflammation.

Arthritis is a degenerative disease, which means it gets worse over time. As it progresses, it can lead to the deterioration of cartilage and eventually the loss of bone. This can cause further pain and weakness in the legs.

old dog

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is another common cause of hind leg weakness in senior dogs. It’s a condition that affects the hip joint and can cause pain, lameness, and arthritis.

Hip dysplasia is caused by a malformation of the hip joint. This can be due to genetics, injury, or even poor nutrition.

The condition can also get worse over time, causing further pain and weakness in the legs.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is another degenerative disease that affects the joints. It’s similar to arthritis but often progresses more slowly.

Osteoarthritis can cause pain, stiffness, and inflammation in the joints. It can also lead to the deterioration of cartilage, thus, causing weakness in the legs.

Degenerative Myelopathy 

Degenerative myelopathy is a condition that affects the spinal cord. It’s a degenerative disease that slowly damages the nerves in the spine.

This can lead to weakness, paralysis, and eventually death.

While degenerative myelopathy can affect any dog, it’s most common in older dogs. This is because the condition often takes years to develop.

Intervertebral Disc Disease

Intervertebral disc disease is a condition that affects the discs in the spine. It’s most common in older dogs and can cause pain, weakness, and paralysis.

Disc disease is caused by the deterioration of the discs in the spine. These discs act as cushions between the vertebrae and help protect the spinal cord.

As they deteriorate, they can become herniated or ruptured. This can put pressure on the spinal cord and nerves, causing pain, weakness, and paralysis.

How To Strengthen Old Dogs Hind Legs – 10 Practical Tips

Now that you know what to look for, let’s take a look at how to strengthen old dogs’ hind legs…

#1 – Practice Low-impact Activities

One of the best ways to strengthen your dog’s hind legs is to practice low-impact activities. This includes walks, swimming, and physical therapy exercises.

These activities are great for strengthening the muscles and joints without putting too much strain on them.

#2 – Improve Your Dog’s Diet

Another way to help strengthen your dog’s hind legs is to improve their diet. This means feeding them a balanced diet that’s rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

You should also make sure they’re getting enough protein and fat. These nutrients are essential for building muscle and keeping joints healthy.

dog eating in a bowl

#3 – Maintain A Healthy Weight

Maintaining a healthy weight is important for all dogs but it’s especially important for senior dogs. This is because obesity can put extra strain on the joints and muscles, which can lead to pain and weakness.

To keep your dog at a healthy weight, make sure they’re getting enough exercise and eating a balanced diet. You should also talk to your vet about the ideal weight for your dog’s breed and age.

#4 – Walk Your Dog Multiple Times A Day

Walking is one of the best exercises for senior dogs. It’s a low-impact activity that helps strengthen the muscles and joints without putting too much strain on them.

To get the most benefit, try to walk your dog multiple times a day. This will help keep their muscles strong and improve their mobility.

#5 – Practice Sit/stand Exercises To Work Out The Weak Hind Legs

Sit/stand exercises are a great way to work out the muscles in your dog’s hind legs. To do this exercise, have your dog sit and then stand up.

Repeat this 10-15 times per session. You can do this exercise multiple times a day to help strengthen your dog’s hind legs.

#6 – Practise Prom Exercises To Increase Muscle Flexibility

PROM exercises, or passive range of motion exercises, are a great way to increase muscle flexibility. These exercises help stretch and lengthen the muscles in the hind legs.

To do this exercise, lift your dog’s leg and hold it in the air for 30 seconds. Repeat this 3-5 times per session. You can do this throughout the day to help increase muscle flexibility.

#7 – Reduce Inflammation With Anti-inflammatory Pain Medicine

If your dog is experiencing pain or inflammation in their hind legs, you can give them over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain medicine.

This will help reduce swelling and pain in the joints and muscles. However, always talk to your vet before giving your dog any medication.

woman feeding his dog

#8 – Consider Giving Your Dog Joint Supplements

Joint supplements are a great way to reduce inflammation and pain in the joints. They’re also helpful for preventing further damage to the joints. They help by providing the joints with nutrients that they need to stay healthy.

Some of the best joint supplements for dogs include glucosamine, chondroitin, and omega-3 fatty acids. You can find these supplements in powder or pill form at your local pet store.

Talk to your vet about which one would be best for your dog.

#9 – Consider Acupuncture Session For Stimulating Blood Flow

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine that’s been used for centuries to treat a variety of health conditions. It involves inserting thin needles into the skin at specific points on the body.

Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in reducing pain and inflammation in the joints. It can also help increase blood flow to the area, which can help reduce stiffness.

If you’re interested in trying acupuncture for your dog, talk to your vet about finding a qualified practitioner in your area.

#10 – Visit The Vet For Recommending Proper Therapy

If your dog is experiencing pain or weakness in its hind legs, it’s important to visit the vet. They can recommend the best course of treatment for your dog.

In some cases, physical therapy may be recommended. This can help increase muscle strength and improve mobility.

Your vet can also recommend other treatments, such as medication or acupuncture, to help relieve pain and inflammation.

Take your dog to the vet if you notice any changes in their mobility or if they seem to be in pain. Early diagnosis and treatment can help improve your dog’s quality of life.

People Also Ask

How Can I Build My Dog’s Back Leg Muscles?

There are a few things you can do to help build your dog’s back leg muscles. Walk them regularly. Walking is a great low-impact exercise that can help strengthen the muscles and joints without putting too much strain on them. Also, consider doing some simple exercises with your dog, such as sit/stands or stretches.

Why Do Old Dogs Get Weak Back Legs?

There are a few reasons why old dogs might get weak back legs. It could be due to arthritis, which is common in older dogs. It could also be due to muscle atrophy, which is when the muscles waste away due to lack of use. Additionally, it could be due to nerve damage or degeneration.

Should You Walk A Dog With Degenerative Myelopathy?

Yes, you should continue to walk your dog even if they have degenerative myelopathy. Walking is a great low-impact exercise that can help improve circulation and maintain muscle strength. Just be sure to go at a slow pace and take breaks as needed.

Conclusion

If your dog is experiencing pain or weakness in their hind legs, there are a few things you can do to help. First, make sure they’re getting regular exercise.

Walking is a great way to strengthen the muscles and joints without putting too much strain on them. You can also try doing some simple exercises with your dog, such as sit/stand or stretches.

Additionally, you can give your dog joint supplements to help reduce inflammation and pain. You can also try acupuncture to help increase blood flow and reduce stiffness.

If you’re concerned about your dog’s health, be sure to visit the vet. They can recommend the best course of treatment for your dog. In some cases, physical therapy may be recommended.

With the proper care, your dog can continue to live a happy and healthy life.

Do you own a senior dog? What is your preferred method for strengthening his hind legs?

Photo of author

Lovelia Horn

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