The Southeastern Spine Institute

Running, jumping, kneeling, squatting — all of these activities may sound like the exercises of an athlete. But pet owners often do these kinds of rigorous, repetitive actions in the course of a regular day caring for and playing with the pups. While these activities are just a normal part of being a pet owner, back issues can limit your ability to play with your pet. So you can benefit from bad back tips.

Enduring chronic back pain can be depressing and debilitating. It limits your ability to be an active and fully engaged pet owner. Following bad back tips helps you maintain an active lifestyle with your pet until you’re fully recovered after back surgery or from a recent back injury.

Bad Back Tips to Help You

Owning a pet is a rewarding — but physically demanding — process when you have a bad back. Ordinary, simple tasks like bending down to pick up your pet’s toy or replacing food and water dishes become painful duties. Most bad back tips demand that you modify some of the movements you need to take while caring for your pets. But you want to do more for them, not less, since they’re part of your family.

One trick is to elevate their bowls. It’s beneficial for two reasons: they’re higher off the ground so you won’t have to bend so low to pick them up and your pet’s neck isn’t in a compromised position when eating or drinking. Of course, be mindful of elevating the bowls too high for small dogs and cats.

Let’s Play Fair

Modifying play sometimes just takes some common sense, mixed with some bad back tips that pet owners with bad backs learned the hard way. And keep in mind that some days are going to be worse than others; sometimes, playing with your pet may not be possible at all. During those especially painful moments, some of these toys can help:

  • Flirt pole. A flirt pole is a toy attached to a rope that, with minimal physical effort, you can drag around the house for your dog or cat to chase.
  • Bubbles. If you have a pet that likes to chase things, this is a great activity to engage their hunting instincts. You can lie down and rest while your pet is completely engaged.
  • Laser pointer. This is another great way to exert your pet without putting physical strain on yourself. Sit or lie down while your pet chases the light.
  • Indoor agility course. Another great way to engage your pet’s mind and body is with an indoor agility course that teaches them how to navigate different terrains while maintaining balance and coordination. This works best for small animals.
  • Treadmill. Putting your pet on the treadmill is an alternative to outdoor activity during inclement weather or during those times your back acts up. Walking is one of the best cardiovascular activities for your dog.
  • A second playmate. Get another pet. They’ll be able to socialize, play and keep each other occupied when you aren’t physically able to do so.

When you’re dealing with back pain, your life as a pet owner doesn’t have to come to a halt. You don’t have to give up your pet or try to push through pain, risking further injury. Try a few of these bad back tips to keep your pet happy even when you’re not. And talk to your doctors at the Southeastern Spine Institute to ensure you can manage the most minimal pet care.