Puppy Joint Health

Maintaining an ideal body condition is crucial to your puppy’s healthy development. But there are also ways you can protect their joints during this period of rapid growth. Learn how Mike Stewart of Wildrose Kennels helps protect his puppies’ hips, joints, and elbows during training, exercise and play.

Joint Protection The Wildrose Way : Video Transcript

Mike Stewart: There's one thing that we can take for granted with all puppies, they just grow up far too fast and their skeletal structure develops quickly as well. That requires proper nutrition, but there's some responsibilities besides nutrition that you have to do as a pet owner, one is maintain proper body condition and two, is watch high-impact exercises and accidents that could really damage hips, joints, and elbows. This pup has an optimum body condition. Look at this nice tuck in his flank, and you can almost see his last rib, this is exactly what you're looking for and proper body condition. From there, we have to start thinking about how to protect these joints. For instance, you don't want a puppy jumping in and out of a car, hitting a hard surface, out of a back of a pickup, jumping off an ATV, you have to watch that.

What about jumping off a porch? Accidentally of course you would never intend to do that, but energetic pups they don't even know their capacity as far as speed and agility right now. He could be running fast across the slick floor, sliding. Ice is a terrible condition for a puppy to be playing on. Any slick surface that will not allow the puppy to slide is not a good idea. Let's consider fun activities like biking with your pup or running with your pup. You could teach your pup to mountain bike by walking with a bike and learning to turn with the bike, but no high impact exercises until 12 to 14-15 months old. Now, what are the best options for reasonable exercise? Soft grasses, some walking, short jogs, no more than an eighth of a mile, swimming is always great, it builds muscle tone, but there's no impact involved. For proper skeleton development, you need great nutrition, low impact exercises and maintain great body condition.