If your dog already suffers from a joint condition or is more at risk of hereditary issues then you’ll probably already know the risks involved in jumping and unnecessary strain and the benefits a dog ramp can have by preventing these issues. Unfortunately, not everyone understands the risks involved. A recent study looks to change this by highlighting the dangers of letting dogs jump unaided from vehicles and other heights.
Jumping can harm dogs
Leading vets studied the effects of jumping from various heights, including those of a standard 4×4, on 15 dogs. A force plate recorded the impact on the dogs’ legs and discovered that even an incremental increase in height resulted in significantly more force on the legs and joints. In fact, the largest jump measured at around the height of a standard 4×4 boot and was four times the impact of normal walking for the dogs.
But what does this mean for the animals themselves?
It’s already well known that this type of force can exacerbate and encourage the natural hereditary joint problems many dog breeds have, but all dogs can suffer from injuries and musculoskeletal problems with regular wear and tear of the joints. This includes elbow or hip dysplasia and painful arthritic problems like osteoarthritis.
Unlike agility activities, dogs are often in cars for extended periods with little to no movement before jumping out. With no warm up, jumping from a static position like the back of a car can put even more strain on their joints. While some owners will help their dogs by lifting them, this can be just as dangerous for both the owner and dog who could suffer from subsequent back problems.
There are currently no regulations about how dogs enter and exit a vehicle, so it’s up to owners to take the right precautions and protect their pets.
Solving the problem: The benefits of a dog ramp
Because of studies just like this one, the British Veterinary Association and other leading experts recommend using a ramp for vehicles and other heights. Ramps can minimise the strain on your dog’s joints, making them perfect for preventing breed related problems as well as assisting older dogs that are more at risk of injury. Here are just some of the benefits of a dog ramp.
Easier for the dog
Smaller dogs might naturally have problems getting in and out of taller vehicles while bigger dogs may simply be reluctant. A pet ramp can make life easier for all types of dogs including puppies who might struggle with these heights or be scared to make the leap as well as older dogs who may lose their confidence making big jumps.
Easier for you
No more lifting which can be dangerous for both you and the dog especially if it’s a bigger breed. You’ll especially notice the difference if your dog is sick and needs to be taken to the vet. Instead of struggling to lift a poorly dog, you can make life a lot easier with a pet ramp to assist them into the car.
Less stress on joints
The biggest benefit of a ramp if their assistance with joint problems which can be both painful for the dog and costly for owners. This is important for all dogs but especially those that suffer from heredity joint issues as many breeds do.
Less risk of injury
Dogs can easily injure themselves getting in and out of vehicles and are particularly at risk in rain or snow. A ramp with a grippy surface can significantly reduce the risk of injury and keep your dog healthier for longer.
A pet ramp can be used for more than just cars. Its lightweight portable nature means you can use it almost anywhere to help your dog. Whether it’s for steps when you’re out and about or around the home to get onto a bed or even in the bath.
Ramps are good to use from puppy to older dogs. Help prevent injuries and joint problems by using the ramp early on in your dog’s life and use it for years to come and well into their old age.