Training a Therapist Should Have

Hunger for knowledge...

There are a number of people across the country who espouse to offer physical therapy or swim therapy for dogs. Many have very little training or no experience. Make sure before you allow your dog to be treated by someone that they have the appropriate education to do so. After all, the last thing you want is to injure your pet, especially if they just had surgery or a spinal injury.


Ensure that the person offering the canine services of rehabilitation or therapy has completed the University of Tennessee’s or the Canine Rehabilitation Institute’s certificate programs. Veterinarians and Physical Therapists both go through these programs.



Some of what Jeffrey has studied includes:


  • Canine anatomy and physiology
  • Common orthopedic and neurological conditions and basic medical and surgical management
  • Weight bearing, Proprioceptive rehabilitation techniques
  • The mechanisms of action, side effects and physiology behind commonly used analgesics, NSAIDS and chondroprotectants and their effects on recovery
  • Identifying common canine conditions that may benefit from rehab
  • Working knowledge of basic surgical procedures as related to rehab. He has observed a number of different surgical procedures at varying facilities in the country with several of the country’s leading Veterinary surgeons
  • Had the opportunity to observe some of the most experienced animal PT’s in the field
  • Learned normal, abnormal gait, muscle and joint biomechanics in the dog and techniques for gait evaluation
  • Benefits, contraindications and risks of ultrasound, electrical stimulation, laser, pulsed signal and extracorporeal shock wave therapy, hot and cold therapies
  • Demonstration of correct basic therapeutic exercise techniques, massage techniques and their uses, benefits, risks and contraindications
  • Appropriate uses and fitting of orthotics and wheelchairs
  • Appropriate progression of a plan of care for canine patients which includes training the owner/caregiver on massage techniques, range of motion exercises
  • These are just some of what was learned in the Certificate programs attended. Make sure that the person working on your dog has the training and education necessary to ensure your dog’s safety and healing