How Braces and Support Slings Can Help Your Dog

Filed in Dog Health by on July 28, 2022

how braces and support slings can help dogs

Is your dog dealing with an injury or having a hard time getting around? Dog braces and slings can be used to provide extra support for your pup.

These devices are often used for various orthopedic and neurologic conditions that can affect your dog’s mobility.

In this article, I’ll discuss what you need to know about these devices and how they can help your dog.

Dog Knee Braces

Running and playing can be hard on your dog’s joints. Knee injuries are common in active dogs and can be quite painful.

Luckily, dog knee braces can be an excellent way to provide some additional support and help your dog recover.

There are several types of dog knee braces available. Determining which brace is best for your pet will depend on the type and severity of their injury.

The two main categories of braces are soft knee braces and rigid knee braces.

Soft dog knee braces resemble a compression sleeve and are typically made of neoprene material.

While soft braces can provide some support, they are not recommended for all dogs and are usually reserved for minor injuries.

Soft braces can be useful for dogs with mild sprains or in the early stages of arthritis.

Rigid braces are made of more durable materials such as medical-grade plastic. These knee braces often have a hinge to allow the knee to bend.

Hinges are usually adjustable to allow for more or less movement and cater to your dog’s specific needs. Rigid braces are usually used for more severe injuries, such as ligament tears or luxating patellas.

Keep in mind that braces won’t do much of anything for the pain associated with a torn ligament, nor will they prevent osteoarthritis formation. Surgery is always the best option for mitigating pain and delaying osteoarthritis. Also, if a knee brace isn’t custom-fit, it may not be effective and can cause skin sores.

Dog Shoulder Braces

Shoulder injuries are another common orthopedic problem in dogs. Ligament injuries can occur as a result of repetitive strain.

The treatment of these injuries can vary depending on the severity of the injury. However, shoulder braces are often used to provide additional support and stability during the healing process.

A dog shoulder brace typically looks like a tight shirt that goes over your dog’s front legs and shoulders.

The design helps restrict your dog’s movement and reduces strain on the damaged ligaments. Some shoulder braces also limit weight bearing on the affected limb to help speed up recovery.

Pup Carriers

As your furry friend gets older, you may notice some weakness in their hind end. This can be caused by neurologic conditions. However, dogs with arthritis or hip problems can also experience pain and difficulty moving their hind legs.

A dog sling can be an excellent way to provide some additional support in these situations.

Most dog slings are designed to go under your dog’s belly and have handles so that you can help support your dog’s weight as they walk.

Depending on your dog’s condition, you can adjust the amount of assistance you provide. This is great for dog’s recovering from surgery or undergoing physical therapy.

The sling offers some extra stability and can help prevent additional injuries from slips or falls.

Picking the Right Device For Your Pup

If you’re considering a brace or sling for your dog, there are some essential factors to keep in mind. Here are a few tips to help you pick the best device.

Understanding Your Pup’s Injury

Understanding your dog’s injury is essential in getting your pup the help they need.

A brace or sling may not be right for every injury. Using the wrong device can cause additional harm and may prolong the healing process for your pet.

Schedule an appointment with your vet to get a better understanding of your dog’s condition.

Your vet will perform a thorough physical exam and may request diagnostic testing to understand the extent of your dog’s injuries.

Discuss Options With Your Vet

Once your dog is diagnosed, it’s time to discuss treatment options with your vet.

While braces and support devices can be a great way to help your dog, they may not be the only necessary treatment.

Some injuries require surgery, and your dog may need medication to keep their pain under control.

Take some time to discuss your dog’s diagnosis and treatment options with your vet. Braces and slings can be used in combination with other treatment options.

Talk to your vet about the best options for your dog’s care and ask how a support device can be incorporated into your pet’s treatment plan.

Getting the Right Fit

When purchasing a brace for your pet, a proper fit is critical. Braces that are too small can cause pain and additional injury.

Likewise, braces that are too large will not provide adequate support.

Pay close attention to product measurements when searching for the right device. Measurements and sizing recommendations are usually listed on the device packaging.

Soft braces are more forgiving when it comes to sizing. However, rigid braces have little room for error.

Because of this, it’s essential to take your dog’s measurements before ordering and check the fit closely when the brace arrives.

Another option to help you find the perfect fit is to invest in a custom-made brace.

Custom braces are a great option for dogs who don’t fall into the standard sizing found with other braces.

While these braces are more expensive, they are also higher quality and provide the best possible support for your pet.


Whether your dog is dealing with an injury or having a hard time getting around, support devices can be an excellent way to help your pet.

Braces can be used to help dogs with joint issues such as shoulder dislocation or cranial cruciate tears. Support slings are great for dogs with weakness in their hind end.

When considering what device is best for your pet, it’s critical to understand your dog’s injury.

Braces and slings may not be right for all injuries, and additional treatment may be necessary to help your pet heal.

I hope this article has given you a better understanding of how these support devices can help your dog.

For additional questions about dog braces or slings, consider reaching out to your veterinarian. Your vet can make specific recommendations based on your pet’s unique needs.

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