We have three herding mix dogs and each has a different level of activity…
Rodrigo loves to run around our property and if we took him to a field, he’d take off running around in glee. Blue is the same way. He has a little more energy (Rodrigo will wind down faster), but they both love to run and chase each other.
Sydney, on the other hand, just like to chill with me. She walks next to me, she sits with me inside and outside, she’s my baby. But every now and then (at least 1x a day) she gets this crazy look in her eyes and then she’s off. Running and running as fast as she can. It’s great to see, because her arthritis pain is better managed, so she can run her buns off!
All this running could easily lead to an ACL tear and after reading about other dog parents dealing with this recently, I started to wonder how to prevent ACL injuries in dogs.
The stress on our dogs ligaments can lead to ACL injuries, so we need to keep their weight in check. I increased our dog walks from 2 miles to 3 miles. I’ve switched the dog to a raw food diet, so they’re eating less kibble and I’ve cut back on the treats – choosing healthier choices like carrots and frozen, 100% pumpkin puree (it’s been warm).
Rodrigo and Blue are very fit and muscular; Sydney can stand to lose some weight and build muscle and I hope these walks and play sessions will help get her there soon.
What About Diet?
When I read about another dog parent dealing with an ACL injury, I thought to myself, “thank heavens we’re transitioning to raw.” But then I second guessed myself and went to the Darwin’s Pets website (we get our raw food here), but there wasn’t anything about ACL injuries. But I did read on Dawg Business that “a quality balanced diet is important for your dog’s overall health, as well as for maintaining the strength of his ligaments.” So now I’m back to being happy that we’re transitioning to a raw food diet.
Even with this precautions, we’re still not 100% out of the woods. Accidents happen all the time. We live on 5 acres and the dogs love to chase each other and one of the can get injured in several ways. We have Trupanion pet insurance and ACL injuries are covered and we recently learned that they changed our policy to cover hip dysplasia too (it used to be something you had to add on).
It just blows me away all that we have to juggle as dog parents. Everyday I learn something new, because I’m a blogger. If I hadn’t started my blog, I’d still be feeding our dogs a terrible kibble and they’e probably be sick and overweight right now.
Has your dog had an ACL injury?