Sometimes, as pet parents, we have to do something we know is good for our dogs but our dog's aren't exactly thrilled about it. This could be having them take pills, wearing coats for the cold, or splinting a limb due to an injury.
Putting a splint on a dog can be a stressful event for both you and your dog! A splint is a necessary evil that most dog's might find uncomfortable and foreign to begin with but there are some ways to make the transition to wearing a pet splint smooth and as un-traumatic as possible.
Tips and Tricks for Getting Your Pet Used to a Splint
Veterinary Rehab specialist and inventor Renee Mills, VT, CCRP shares her best practices on how to make sure your dog's injury heals well while also keeping your pup as comfortable as possible!
Introduce your dog to the splint! Let them sniff it, walk around it, and just interact with the splint. You can praise your dog when they touch or approach the splint so your dog will associate the device with positivity.
Limit the amount of time your dog spends in their splint in the beginning. Place the splint on your dog for 10-15 minute intervals around 3 to 4 times a day. Make sure you treat like crazy while the splint is on so the dog makes a positive association while wearing their splint!
If you see your dog is starting to tolerate the splint, increase the amount of time they wear it. Try 15-30 minutes 3-4 times a day... keep up the treats as they wear the splint! It's important to remember that every dog is different and it might takes your dog a few days to acclimate, don't push your dog too far outside their comfort zone and spend as much time on the "Day 2" time frame as necessary.
Once your dog is able to comfortably wear their splint for 4+ hours at a time you can allow your dog to be splinted for the full day as needed!