Many of us realize that our pets will benefit from a fitness routine that will improve their overall health. The good news is that there are ways to make obstacle courses that will engage your pet and keep them active.
Cavaletti rails are a series of poles set in an obstacle-style assembly. There are a variety of ways in which pets can use these rails to assist with balance issues, improve function and range of motion, and correct gate issues. The rails can be situated in a way that matches the animal’s ability and then adjusted in order to challenge the animal over time.
Before using cavaletti rails, the animal should undergo a complete evaluation. In order to create an exercise routine that benefits the animal, their current ability, goals, and temperament should all be considered. During the evaluation, the animal’s fitness level, injuries, and current state of balance and muscle capability will be tested. Keep in mind; there is no one-size-fits-all approach to creating an exercise routine. The program will be adjusted for each individual animal.
The type of exercise selected will be determined by the need of the animal. Here are a few key areas that may be improved by the use of the rails.
Improving balance requires a regimen that starts out fairly simple and then increases in complexity over time. First, cavaletti rails will be placed together and then narrowed over time to create a more complex balance beam. As the pet gains confidence and skill, blocks and other obstacles on the planks. Eventually, the pet will be asked to balance the blocks for longer and longer periods of time.
Speed exercises focus on enhancing speed as well as stride. The pet will be asked to trot through a series of cavaletti rails. Over time, the rails will be positioned further and further apart to allow the animal’s stride to increase over time.
Endurance exercises are designed to increase the animal’s overall fitness level. Typically, there are a variety of platforms used in order to keep the pet engaged with the program. However, cavaletti may be used as part of the exercise routine to mix up sprint distance exercises.
When using cavaletti rails, there is no one solution for all pets. You should discuss the use of the rails with your veterinarian to ensure that your pet would benefit from it. You’ll want to be wary of over-training your animal or increasing the risk of injury.
Fitness is not always the reason that cavaletti rails are used. In fact, in many cases, they are used as part of a rehab or recovery program for your pet who suffers from an injury or recovering from surgery. The program itself is customized to your pet to ensure that they are receiving the proper routine for their abilities and physical goals.
If you would like more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are more than happy to discuss cavaletti rails and how they may be used in your pet’s fitness or rehab routine. Contact Elizabeth Veterinary Clinic in Roselle, NJ today to discuss your options with our knowledgeable staff (908) 245-7853.