This is Luke, he’s an ex-racing greyhound who is both a regular client for massage and also one of Izzy’s friends.
During one of my massage sessions with Luke, his Mum and I talked about how he was jumping on and off the deck at the back of the house. Upon inspection, I could see that the steps were narrow and steep and this was causing Luke to jump to avoid them.
My first rule is to prevent injuries before they happen and I was worried that as Luke gets older, he could severely injure himself by missing the jump, misjudging the jump, or sliding awkwardly when the surface was wet and slippery. We discussed replacing the narrow steps with a much wider landing surface that would be safer.
I also recommend home adjustments for dogs to ensure that they are not putting unnecessary strain on their joints and soft tissues. Over time, these stresses and strains cause wear and tear and, ultimately, arthritis.
Luke’s Mum and Dad have been working on the alterations over summer and they are now complete. Luke has a wide surface to turn upon with non-slip carpet tiles. The hand rail will keep him from jumping off the side and the humans in the house can hold onto it for their safety, too.
Kathleen Crisley, Fear-Free certified professional and specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand