If you own an old dog, then you probably already know that its hind legs tend to get weaker over time.
It is because dogs naturally walk on their front legs and use their back legs for support. As a result, their back legs become weak and less flexible.
When this occurs, the dog has trouble walking and running. It also makes it hard for them to jump high fences and climb stairs. This problem becomes even worse if the dog gets arthritis.
Fortunately, there are ways to strengthen an old dog’s hind legs. In this article, I will share some of the best exercises you can perform to improve your dog’s mobility.
How To Strengthen Old Dogs Hind Legs?
1. Dog Leg Raises
The first exercise that I recommend is called “dog leg raises.” These exercises will help strengthen your dog’s hind limbs and make it easier for them to move around.
To do these exercises:
- Step 1: Stand up and hold onto something sturdy such as a table or chair.
- Step 2: Then, slowly raise one of your dog’s feet off the ground until it reaches about 90 degrees.
- Step 3: Hold this position for a few seconds before lowering the foot back down. Repeat this process with both of your dog’s hind legs.
2. Hip Flexor Stretch
Another great way to strengthen your dog’s hind legs is by performing a hip flexor stretch. To do this,
- Step 1: Simply lie down on the floor and bend your dog’s rear end so that their hips are facing towards you.
- Step 2: Next, place your hands under your dog’s shoulders and gently pull backward.
- Step 3: Continue pulling in this manner until you feel the muscles in your dog’s hips start to loosen.
- Step 4: You should be able to slide your fingers underneath your dog’s shoulder blades easily.
3. Standing Up Paws
This exercise is another good way to strengthen your dog’s hind legs. To do this;
- Step 1: Stand up straight and grab onto something sturdy like a wall or door frame.
- Step 2: Then, slowly lift your dog’s left foot off the ground while holding onto the wall.
- Step 3: Once you have lifted your dog’s foot, try lifting his right foot next.
- Step 4: Repeat this step until you have performed all four of your dog’s hinds
4. Dog Stairs Exercise
You may not realize how vital stair climbing ability is for older dogs. If you want to keep your senior dog healthy and happy, then you need to work on making sure they can still climb stairs.
To accomplish this, just follow the steps below:
- Step 1: Find a staircase that is at least 30 inches wide.
- Step 2: Stand close to the top of the staircase and hold onto the railing with both hands.
- Step 3: Slowly lower yourself down the stairs until you reach the bottom.
- Step 4: Now, slowly go back up the stairs and repeat this entire process.
5. Jumping Exercises
Jumping exercises are very beneficial for older dogs. They help to build muscle mass and increase stamina. In addition, jumping exercises can also help reduce joint pain and stiffness of the hind legs.
Here are two different types of jumps that you can perform with your dog:
- Step 1: First, find a large rope that is at least 6 feet long.
- Step 2: Tie one end of the rope to a stable object such as a tree or fence post.
- Step 3: Tie the other end of the rope to your dog’s collar.
- Step 4: After that, take your dog outside and let them run through the rope.
This type of jump helps to improve your dog’s balance and coordination.
- Step 1: Find a pole that is at least 8 feet tall.
- Step 2: Attach a leash to your dog’s collar and attach the other end of the leash to the pole.
- Step 3: Then, take your dog outside into an open area where there is room for them to jump over the pole. Make sure that you don’t allow your dog to jump too high because they could injure themselves if they do.
6. Walk Your Dog
A lot of people think that walking their dog is only for puppies and young pups. However, it is beneficial for ordered dogs’ legs, too!
When you walk your dog, you will get some much-needed physical activity and mental stimulation. Plus, when you walk your dog, they will become more socialized and learn new things.
There are many ways that you can walk your dog. Here are three of them:
Walking On a Leash
The first option is to use a leash. Simply put the leash around your dog’s neck and lead them around the block.
Walking With Toys
If you want to make your walks even more fun, then you should consider using toys. Just throw a ball, chew toy, or Frisbee in the air and watch your dog chase after it.
Walking Through the Park
Another great idea is to take your dog out for a stroll through the park. You can either bring along a leash or simply leave your dog free to roam around.
7. Agility Training
Agility training is another way that you can strengthen your older dog’s hind legs. It teaches your dog to be able to move quickly and efficiently while running through obstacle courses.
To begin agility training, you will need to purchase a set of obstacles. These obstacles include tunnels, ramps, bridges, and various other items.
Once you have purchased these items, you will need to assemble them in the shape of a course.
Then, you will need to teach your dog to navigate through the course. To do so,
- Step 1: Start by placing your dog on a flat surface.
- Step 2: Next, place the first item in the course.
- Step 3: Then, give your dog a command like “Go” and tell them to follow the path you laid out.
- Step 4: Repeat this step until all of the items in the course have been placed.
8. Running Exercises
Running exercises can help you strengthen your dog’s hind legs muscles. They are also an excellent way to increase your dog’s cardiovascular health.
When you run your dog;
- Step 1: First, you will need to pick a route you would like your dog to run. This route can be as short or long as you want. For example, you can set up a 5-mile route or a 1-mile route.
- Step 2: After setting up your route, you will need to place a marker every mile.
- Step 3: After doing so, you will need to attach a rope to each marker.
- Step 4: Then, tie one end of the rope to your dog’s collar and the other end to an object such as a tree.
- Step 5: Next, you will need to instruct your dog to run back and forth between the markers. Start slowly as you gradually build up the speed over time.
The best way to ensure that your old dog has solid hind legs is by giving them plenty of exercises. It would be best if you also considered taking advantage of some of the activities listed above.
Doing so will not only improve your dog’s overall fitness but will also help them to become a better athlete.
Lucy is a real-time contributor to Purrfect n’ Pawesome, along with being a freelance writer to various pet forums and platforms. She started writing professionally in the year 2016. Earlier, she enjoyed her community life as a pet rescue volunteer and offered boarding services to pet owners. Her extensive experience in the pet field is now the basis for her writing at this site.
She loves to collect animal facts from around the globe and then transform them into amazing stories for her readers. For Lucy, the mission is to bring pet love to every home and equip the pet parents with the required useful and authentic information to nurture their pet accordingly.
She lives with her two cats and a shepherd mix, whom she loves the most. Despite her extremely busy life, she spends some time with wildlife and outer space to relax her mind and enhance her observation.
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