Why maintenance care for dogs?
Maintenance care is common in “human” chiropractic. Patients want to continue to feel well and with as little or no pain as possible, to help prevent the issue that they came in with from recurring to the same extreme. To do this, individuals will make periodic visits to their chiropractor on a schedule that works well for them to make sure everything is functioning correctly – even if they are not in a lot of pain. This is the same concept as getting your oil changed or your teeth cleaned at regular intervals. You do this so that you can try to avoid having major work done. Maintenance is also a good idea for your pet. Why is this?
Our pets don’t show pain typically
Sometimes, by the time an animal comes in to see me, it is typically in a fair amount of pain. Part of the reason for this is because the owners haven’t noticed some of the early and subtle changes in their pet that can be an indication of pain. These can be learned over time and many pet owners start to pick up on the discomfort earlier. The other reason is evolutionary. Animals are programmed to not show pain unless it is severe as they would be seen as weak in the wild and would then become an easy target for a predator.
Maintenance care is a great way to assess the spine for issues before they become an issue. Once the dog gets through the acute stage of pain, treatment frequency will start to space out and I will recommend a periodic check up to help prevent the problem from recurring.
How often should an animal be seen for maintenance?
This isn’t a one size fits all answer. Depending on the age and activity level of your dog, that will determine what the best frequency is. Highly active or competitive sport dogs will be seen more frequently than the average house dog. Older dogs will need to be seen more frequently than puppies. Just like with humans, treatment frequency is individualized to each pet.