Did you know your dog can get physical therapy?

Did you know your dog can get physical therapy?

I never had a dog growing up. It wasn’t that I didn’t want a dog, I just never really wanted to take care of a dog, and clean up the messes, and walk around the neighborhood waiting for this thing to take a dump. Fast forward many years, and I find myself married in to a package deal that included the star of today’s story, Annabelle the chihuahua. The funny thing is, this dog that I never really wanted, has now taken to me more than my wife, who raised her since birth…so she has become Daddy’s Girl #2 in the household. But did you know your dog can get physical therapy?

Annabelle the Chihuahua
Annabelle the Chihuahua

So at this point, if something ever happened to Annabelle, I would likely be devastated and weep like a little baby. Should Annabelle start limping like her sister Nia (my Mother-in-law’s chihuahua) in an antalgic  (or painful) gait (or walking) pattern, I would do everything in my power to help get her better as soon as possible.

The good news is, apparently I can use my physical therapy knowledge to not only help humans, but to help canines (and cats and horses apparently) too. There are two certifications, one is the Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist (CCRT) and the other is a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner (CCRP).


Here are the nuts and bolts of each program (which can only be completed by Vets, Vet Techs, PTs, PTAs, OTs, and OTAs…pretty limited professional scope here)

Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist (CCRT) — For Veterinarians and Physical Therapists (Canine Rehab Institute, FL)
The program includes three modules: Introduction to Canine Rehabilitation ($2900), The Canine Rehabilitation Therapist ($2900), and Canine Sports Medicine ($1600). In addition, students are required to do a 40-hour internship at a CRI-approved site.

The CCRT curriculum covers:

  • Canine anatomy and physiology
  • Conditions and injuries commonly referred for rehabilitation
  • Physical therapy assessment techniques
  • Manual therapy
  • Physical modalities and therapeutic exercise
  • Neurological rehabilitation
  • The business of canine rehabilitation

CCRP Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner (U of Tennessee)

Canine I – Online Lecture ($500)
Canine II PT – Online Lecture ($1250)
Canine III PT – Lab Series ($1250)
Canine IV – Lab Series ($850)
Canine V – Elective ($500)
Canine VI – Clinical Practicum ($300)
Canine VII – Certificate Exam ($850)

So it appears to be a lot more classes, and a lot of labs (see what I did there?) , and not all states are on board with the proper legislature to allow animal physical therapy at present time, but I think I may have found my dream retirement plan.


Animals can benefit from physical therapy too!

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