Health Topics  >  Musculoskeletal  > Limping (Lameness)

How to treat your limping dog at home

Treatment for a limping dog depends on the underlying cause (which needs to be diagnosed by a veterinarian), but there’s a few things you can do to help your dog be more comfortable in the meantime.

A few days of rest with minimal exercise (especially avoiding any running, jumping and going up or down stairs) helps. Abstaining from playing and avoiding slippery surfaces such as hardwood floors is also a good idea. Keep your dog calm and if necessary, crate them to prevent any further injury.

Shorter, less intense walks on a leash are recommended. Gradually re-introduce exercise and running once the limp has resolved, especially since your dog may have pent up energy from the lack of exercise. It’s best to run or jog with your dog on a leash for a few days before letting them off the leash.

Do not give Ibuprofen or other human over-the-counter medication to your dog, as these can be toxic. Your vet may prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) specific for dogs to relieve pain and inflammation (do not use a human version of this without a vet’s input, as they commonly cause gastric ulceration and serious adverse reactions in dogs).

Puppies can be very dramatic in their response to pain (even mild pain). They will be acutely restless and whining when injured – keep them calm and wait about 1 hour to see if limping still persists.

Pro Tips: 

  • Give your dog a few days of rest with minimal exercise. Avoid running, jumping, playing, the stairs, and slippery surfaces.
  • Do not give human over-the-counter medication (such as ibuprofen) to your dog as some of these can be toxic.


It is best to keep your dog quiet for a few days to see if the limp resolves
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