If your dog is suffering from mild hip dysplasia, then using a canine brace to help support the affected joints can make a big difference in their quality of life and mobility.
In this post, we will review some of the best braces available and weigh up the pros and cons of each product.
But if your dog is more severely disabled, you might want to take a look at this blog post asking what are the best dog wheelchairs for hind legs?
Table of Contents
- What are the Best Dog Hip Dysplasia Braces?
- What Conditions are Hip Braces for Dogs Suitable For?
- How and When Should You Use a Dog Hip Dysplasia Brace?
- How is the Brace Applied?
- Other Ways to Help Treat Hip Dysplasia in Dogs
- Dog Hip Brace FAQ
What are the Best Dog Hip Dysplasia Braces?
We created this chart to briefly show you our top picks for braces.
What Conditions are Hip Braces for Dogs Suitable For?
- Canine Hip Dysplasia
- Recovering from an Injury
- Rehabilitation After a Hip Operation
Canine Hip Dysplasia
Hip dysplasia in dogs is a genetically inherited condition exacerbated by lifestyle factors such as weight, levels of exercise, age, etc. It causes pain, discomfort, and a loss of mobility in the dog’s hip joints.
Canine hip braces can be a great way to give your dog some extra support and stability around the hips and reduce their pain. This can be especially useful when taking your dog out for walks and exercise, as it allows the dog to enjoy itself more fully. It will also help you worry less as your dog is getting hip support from the brace.
Recovering from an Injury
If your dog has recently been injured in the leg or hip area, then using a brace to support them while they rehabilitate can be of great benefit. With rehabilitation, the idea is to slowly increase the work that the injured joints are made to do. This allows the dog’s body to recover but safely and controlled so that the rehab doesn’t do more harm than good.
Rehabilitation After a Hip Operation
Like a dog recovering from injury, if your dog has had an operation, maybe for hip dysplasia, canine arthritis, or something similar.
Using a brace to support the dog as you start using gentle, incrementally increasing levels of exercise to build back up the dog’s strength can be a great way of stopping the dog from getting hurt.
How and When Should You Use a Dog Hip Dysplasia Brace?
You should use a dog hip brace if your dog has issues with hip dysplasia, even if it is just the earliest signs of issues.
Here are some signs your dog may have hip dysplasia:
- A noticeable decrease in the dog’s activity
- Decreased range of motion
- Swelling and inflammation
- Lameness in the hind leg or a swaying gait
- Less thigh muscle mass
- Pain, stiffness, or limping
- Difficulty in standing, jumping, running, or climbing stairs
To be sure, ask your vet to perform a physical exam at your dog’s next checkup. Sometimes an exam is enough to diagnose this condition.
Once you have a diagnosis, it would help if you consider using a hip supportive brace and giving your dog the best dog food for hip dysplasia. You want to get both yourself and the dog used to working with the back brace or hip brace as soon as possible.
(BTW – If your dog does have joint issues, then you might want to try looking at our heating pads for dogs reviews page for more advice to help improve your pet’s quality of life).
How is the Brace Applied?
It is best to find adjustable dog leg braces and hip braces to get the best fit. A dog hip brace should fit around the dog’s hips above the tail. They are used for the conditions we have already mentioned and when the dog has pain in the hips, lower back, and back leg limping. They can also help with lower back weakness and back leg fatigue.
This video shows a vet putting a brace on a dog. As you will see, it’s only a few minutes to do and shouldn’t be difficult. If in doubt, consult a vet!
As with any health-related issue and your dog, if you are in any doubt, please always consult a fully qualified, reputable vet.
They will advise you and give you information about whether a brace is right for your dog’s hip and how to best care for them.
They can even give you reviews on the best products to use, depending on which legs are affected with arthritis or similar conditions.
Other Ways to Help Treat Hip Dysplasia in Dogs
In addition to finding the right dog hip brace to help ease your dog’s pain and improve their mobility, there are other things you can do to help them. You can use these treatment options if your dog’s hip dysplasia is not severe or if your dog isn’t a candidate for surgery.
- Weight reduction can help take undue stress off the dog’s hips
- Restrict exercise, especially if they are on hard surfaces
- Physical therapy to improve mobility
- Joint supplements
- Anti-inflammatory medications like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or corticosteroids
If your dog is a candidate for surgery, some common surgeries vets use to treat dog hip dysplasia are double or triple pelvic osteotomy, femoral head ostectomy, or total hip replacement.
If your dog has been diagnosed with hip dysplasia, it is still possible for them to lead a long healthy life free of debilitating pain. Talk to your vet about your treatment options to find the best thing for your dog’s individual needs. Harnesses and dog hip braces are a great place to start and can help keep your furry friend comfortable into old age and beyond.
Dog Hip Brace FAQ
Here are answers to some of the more commonly asked questions regarding the best dog hip brace.
Can your dog use stairs while wearing a hip brace?
If your dog has hip dysplasia, you will find it more difficult for your dog to walk on a slippery surface or the stairs. Instead of stairs, a carpeted ramp will be a better option. Even with a hip brace, your dog should avoid the stairs and any other situation that would cause strain to the parts of their body that suffer the most pain during movement.
How often can your dog wear the hip brace?
A dog hip brace provides your dog with the support and stability they need to help decrease hip pain and inflammation so they can remain as active as possible. The amount of time your dog can wear the hip brace really depends on the model you choose. Some are designed for extended wear, while others should only be worn for shorter intervals.
Can hip dysplasia correct itself in dogs?
Unfortunately, there is no cure for hip dysplasia in dogs. However, some treatments have been proven effective and provide them with the pain relief they need and help prevent any future damage. The right brace, a healthy diet, and a good exercise routine are helpful.
Is walking good for dogs with hip dysplasia?
Yes. Walking and moderate running is good for dogs with hip dysplasia because they can help strengthen their muscles around the joints. The vet may recommend two 20-minute walks per day if you allow the dog to set their own pace.