Physical Therapy for Dogs

Many pet owners now understand the unique benefits of physical therapy for dogs after their pet becomes injured or has another health problem that affects their quality of life. In the same ways that humans use physical therapy and rehabilitation to regain mobility or recover after a surgery, dogs can also have excellent medical outcomes with the appropriate support. Both puppies, elderly dogs, and any age in between could potentially need physical therapy.

Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital specializes in canine rehabilitation and regenerative medicine for recovery. Physical therapy for dogs is designed to restore, maintain and promote optimal functionality and mobility, particularly after an injury or surgery has occurred that could impact the dog's ability to move around easily or hinder their quality of life. Our veterinarians want to ensure that your pet has the resources and support needed to encourage confidence while also improving muscle strength, coordination, range of motion, and much more.

Some Common Health Issues That Require Physical Therapy Include: 

  • Obesity
  • Muscle Injuries
  • Bone Fractures
  • Arthritis
  • Surgery Recovery
  • Chronic Conditions
  • Neurological or Orthopedic Conditions
Dog Physical Therapy

How Does Physical Therapy for Dogs Work?

Physical Therapy for Dogs

Physical therapy for dogs often spans a wide range of modalities or approaches. This could include the use of multiple different types of equipment or types of physical therapy. Before determining which type of physical therapy might be most beneficial, an experienced veterinarian may require a complete physical examination. This can also help pinpoint unforeseen health issues that could impact the effectiveness of these therapies and confirm nothing more serious is occurring.

If a dog is recovering from a surgery or other injury, physical therapy is often a critical part of the healing process. Unfortunately, not all veterinarians provide these services, and many of their patients may not have the support needed to heal completely. At Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital, we know how crucial these treatments are throughout the healing process.

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Some of the common types of physical therapy that dogs will utilize for rehabilitation purposes include:

Heat and Cold Therapy

Warming muscles before physical activity can help prepare them for an upcoming activity or reduce the chances of further strain. However, using ice after exercise can help reduce the pain and inflammation that are occurring. Depending on the unique needs of a dog, one of these two forms of therapy may be utilized to help prepare them for rehabilitation exercises. Because a pet's skin can be sensitive to these treatment types, using a thin barrier to protect them from extreme temperature changes is recommended.

Dog Therapy
Dog Laser Therapy

Laser Therapy

Although a recent development in veterinary medicine, laser therapy can help accelerate the healing response that a dog can have. Through the use of a safe therapy laser, the body's natural healing process is utilized through a process called photo-bio-modulation, also known as light therapy. As a non-medication approach to physical therapy, this modality has shown great promise for a wide range of medical conditions. It is considered entirely safe as well as non-invasive.

Chiropractic Care

Countless pet owners already utilize chiropractic care regularly; however, they might not think that their pet could benefit from these services for pain and increased mobility. When a dog's spine experiences abnormal ranges of motion, these restrictions can have drastic impacts throughout the body. The goal of chiropractic care is to maximize mobility and optimize nervous system functionality.

Chiropractic Dog Care

Are There Any Risks to Physical Therapy for Dogs?

Although physical therapy is considered highly safe, complications can occur if the rehabilitation processes are not done correctly. If a muscle is strained further, it could have long-lasting impacts that may worsen the canine's issues. For this reason, it is vital to ensure that any physical therapy your dog needs is conducted by a professional veterinarian or a trained rehabilitation specialist.

When physical therapy is done correctly, it can be uncomfortable. The Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital team wants to ensure that each dog we provide physical therapy for has the support needed to heal correctly while also managing the pain they might be experiencing. If you have questions or concerns about the physical therapy that your dog is currently undergoing or might need, our team of veterinarians can help simplify the process and ease any fears that you may have.

Dog Physical Therapy Session

How Can You Schedule Physical Therapy for Your Dog?

Any dog owner that needs to schedule physical therapy treatments for their dog for the first time will need to contact the team at Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital. In many cases, we will require an initial consultation and examination to determine what problems your dog may be facing and then create the best care plan possible to meet those unique problems. Our veterinarian team strives to ensure your dog is treated like it was our own and will work tirelessly to ease any stress or fear associated with their visit and recommended treatments.

Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital Hallway

Meet Our Doctors

Jennifer Patton


Dr. Patton’s decision to pursue veterinary medicine came after she realized that while education and teaching is her passion, it is not something she could do as a career. Veterinary medicine allowed her to combine her love of animals with her love of teaching.

After she graduated from Oklahoma State University with her Doctorate, she practiced in several high volume hospitals in the Tulsa area, developing medical skills with varied case loads and growing her leadership skills.


Allissa Huckabay


Dr. Huckabay’s love of science and animals naturally led her to a lifelong passion of veterinary medicine. She worked and volunteered at a local veterinary hospital before she furthered her education at Oklahoma State University, graduating in 2016 with her Doctorate.

Dr Huckabay immediately found her home at ACVH, where she is able to create a healthy bond with each of her patients as she experiences all stages of their care with their owners.


Phillip Adolph

Phillip Adolph, DVM is a graduate of Oklahoma State University Veterinary Health Sciences. He also attended OSU for his undergraduate studies where he graduated with a Bachelors of Arts and Sciences in Agriculture through the College of Animal Sciences. Dr. Adolph was on the President’s Honor Roll and was a member of the OSU jazz orchestra. He joined the Advanced Care team immediately upon his graduation in 2019 after doing 6 weeks of externships during his 4th year of veterinary school.