With the importance of National Walk Your Dog Week this week, that begs the question…what if your dog has a medical condition that makes walking outside too difficult? Dogs that have arthritis in the hips or elbows can have difficulty with walking on sidewalks or trails due to the impact on their already painful joints. Brachycephalic dogs (smushy-faced dogs like pugs or bulldogs) can have difficulty breathing outside in more humid air conditions, and older dogs with a condition called laryngeal paralysis have to maintain a more regular breathing rhythm or they can struggle to adequately oxygenate their lungs. Additionally, overweight dogs can have difficulty walking long distances initially due to poor conditioning. Following orthopedic surgery, many dogs require a controlled, steady return to normal function to maintain their muscle mass and allow the bone time to heal. Fortunately, we here at Mt. Carmel Animal Hospital have an alternative! The underwater treadmill for dogs is a great option for dogs that have more specialized needs in regards to their exercise. It is low-impact, and the water level can be varied to help give or decrease buoyancy to make walking easier or harder, depending on each individual patient. If you think an underwater treadmill session could benefit your pet, give us a call to set up a rehab consult today!