If we plan to purchase a harness to help our friend with mobility when walking, we should know that there are various models. Not all are intended for the same purpose. Therefore, depending on what your problem or your specific need is, we will choose one or the other. Here we explain how to choose a harness without making mistakes.

The advantages of using a harness

We have already talked about the therapeutic properties of a harness for dogs. And it is that thanks to its structure, it achieves that when holding the animal we relieve the weight that it carries on its legs. Also, for those cases where there are hip problems, it also helps improve alignment.

As with people, animals also need a recovery process. It is not only important to know how to provide physical support, but also emotional support. By choosing a harness for dogs, we are offering them the help they need to regain their health and vital energy.

For this reason, and for you to choose the right one, we want to explain the differences that exist when choosing a harness for dogs. However, if you have doubts, you can always contact us and we will help you find the one that best suits the animal’s problem.

Choosing a dog harness

As a general rule, the purpose of these is to improve mobility and offer help when getting up, walking or climbing stairs. All of them activities of some difficulty when there is an injury. We can choose a harness among those detailed below.

Harness for hind legs compatible

We can choose a harness of this type if we want to help walking and getting up. It is especially suitable when there are neurological problems, spinal problems and lameness or weakness in the hind legs. Also in cases of osteoarthritis or hip dysplasia. It is also possible to combine it with an integral wheelchair.

We must use it only when walking or moving the dog. It can be annoying if we leave it on for a long time. It is very easy to use since the legs are inserted and it is held on the hip.

Web Master Harness

If our friend has suffered a previous limb amputation or shows weakness in them, we can choose a harness like this one. Unlike other models, this one has a built-in strap under the back. In this way, it will not slide forward in the area of the amputated limb. It also allows us to comfortably lift the animal to overcome obstacles.

If we want to leave it on for a long period, there will be no problem choosing a harness like this. It is made from fabrics that prevent chafing and allow ventilation.

full harness

If our dog is elderly or suffers from osteoarthritis, we can choose an integral harness. They offer support in the front and back, which helps to balance the weight well. In addition, it allows them to maintain control of the body in different situations. Not only is it a perfect complement to help the animal recover, but it also prevents injuries to owners when carrying them.

Although there are other variants, these are the three main types of harnesses that we can find. Choosing a suitable harness is essential to help the dog regain mobility or to provide support. You can check here what we have available and contact us for more information.

Nowadays, most sea lovers have dogs and many times we do not know what to do with them during our visits to the beach. Our four-legged friends are always happy when we get home and are excited to share moments with us so why couldn’t we introduce them to paddle surfing?

paddle surf perro

The mere fact of sharing an activity with them not only tires them and motivates them to work but also creates a bond with us in which we can gain a lot of trust with our dog.

Our preparation

Before we begin, we must keep in mind what our objective is. In our case it is to get us to enjoy a walk through calm waters with our dog. This is going to take an effort and not every day we will leave our training as happy.

Some dogs love water and have no fear of the waves, others their total trust with the owner leads them to do unthinkable things like jump off a wall and wait for the owner to catch them when they fall. Now, we will put ourselves in the most critical situation, train a dog that does not like to swim and even less face unpredictable situations, as is the case with Nik.

So starting from the previous premises we must keep in mind that for our dog this activity must be fun and therefore can never lead to a punishment, there must always be a prize. This will motivate them and strengthen the desire to be able to share a good paddle surf ride with their owner.

It is important to start working on two aspects: the first is the motivation to interact with water, we must get familiar with this medium, for example, in lakes or rivers where there are no waves. There we can run next to him along the shore or throw a doll at him to go find him. And the second, start working with the paddle board on the ground.

Starting on land

Paddle Surf con perrosThe idea of starting working with the board on the ground is so that our dog gradually feels safe in it and gains confidence, in such a way that we will use positive reinforcement. The more positive experiences our dog has with the board on land, the safer he will feel when this activity becomes a greater challenge for him.

First we can leave the board on the ground and let the dog experiment and explore. After a while, we can put some candy or toy on top to motivate you to get even closer and go up. Just at the moment he climbs above the table we must reward him in such a way that he will understand that we are happy and he gets a prize when he performs this action.

When we observe that our dog already climbs confidently we can introduce certain orders, either to indicate that he goes up or down as well as to sit or lie on top of the board, since this is what we will need once we are in the water. Little by little we must begin to get behind him while he is sitting or lying down and we can demand that he be for a longer period of time in that position.

Our last step before going to the water is to familiarize you with a dog lifeguard armour out of the water. The dog must associate that the board and the armilla go together so we will continue working the previous orders with the armilla on.

At this point many of you will wonder why use a armilla for the dog. First of all, we must keep in mind that if we want to go out into the water we can fall and we must be able to ensure the life of our friend, in such a way that it will help us whether it is hit or if we want to climb it back on the board. Many of the armillas they sell have a handle to be able to take the dog, so we can climb it easily.

Let’s go to the water

First of all it is important that we master paddle surfing before riding our dog. When we have this consolidated, it is time to look for a lake or a river with calm water to take you in your first days.

Before getting directly in the water it is important that we work a little on the routine created on the ground so that the dog gets used to the change and the new environment. Later we can make our first steps in the water:

Step 1: Get the dog to climb on top: For this we will place the board well taken near the shore and we will keep it as still as possible, we will give the order to climb on top of it and we will reward at the time of riding since it will swing. We will continue to reward as the dog is on top of the board (it does not need to be with all four legs) and little by little we will ask him to be all on the board. If you are calm we can move the board slowly. Finally, we will give the order to come down from it and at that time we will reward you with great enthusiasm since you have achieved a great achievement.

Step 2: Get the two of us on top of the table: To get it we will sit in the center of the table, we will give the order to go up and then the order to sit down. Later we can paddle as if we were taking a kayak or if we are two people, one can climb in the back and walk while we continue working on the safety of the dog.

If we both feel safe, with very soft and slow movements we can get on our knees and continue to surround our dog that is sitting. Our last step will be to stand on top of the board with the dog sitting between our legs. If we are alone we must continue very gently but if we have help we can get up and invite the dog to climb while our partner holds the board.

At all times, patience and calm. Our dog will indicate when he is ready for the next step and in this way we can face challenges with him. If we enjoy and they enjoy each time we can introduce you to new environments and little by little we will share more activities at sea with our friends, such as surfing a wave.

Aida Macià – Sailboards Girona – OrtocanisBaner silla 728x90

Dog boots are a great help both to prevent injuries and to help their healing.

Boots as prevention… in summer and winter

Herida en la pata del perroSpikes: in spring and summer. They are usually stuck between the fingers. Once they are nailed, due to their characteristic shape, they advance inland and can travel great distances and cause serious infections. In addition, stones, twigs, crystals,… all of this can injure your dog’s paws in the field.


Snow: Snow can lead to dermatitis and cracks in the pads. In dogs of small size even freezing of the final part of the paws). On sunny days, we should protect our dog’s pads as artificial pavements can be at very high temperatures.

Sport: intense exercise, especially on uneven terrain can wear down the pads of dogs, so it is recommended to protect them by using boots.


Boots as an aid in the treatment of wounds

Boots are a very good alternative to some bandages for injuries to the dog’s “feet”. They allow them to go more comfortable and, most importantly: they are easy to remove and put on, so we can see the status of the injury at any time and let it “breathe” from time to time.

Perro con veterinario

Boots as an aid to dogs with reduced mobility

Boots become indispensable in dogs with movement problems, either due to hip dysplasia, a rupture of the cruciate ligament or, simply, advanced osteoarthritis. They allow dogs to have a greater grip on the ground, improve a lot when walking, and avoid injuries due to a “slip”. Especially important inside the houses, where stoneware or parquet usually slip. An alternative to conventional boots are rubber boots, which protect from aggressive surfaces allowing the dog to maintain sensitivity in the pads while improving their adhesion on sliding surfaces.

Do you want to see how dogs “manage” with rubber boots?

Laura Perez

Orthocanis Veterinarian

Botas protectoras para perro

Since time immemorial, dogs have remained by our side for their amazing physical gifts such as speed, endurance and agility. With the passage of time, man was selecting those that were better accustomed to hunting and the defense of the home, such as show dogs and collectors. Today, what was once just a job, has become leisure, sports activities and jobs of great responsibility. Among the sports activities we could highlight the greyhound races, the sled dogs or the exhibition and agility tracks. Both working dogs and those of sport and leisure require excellent physical and mental training at all times throughout their lives. More than referring to a strict training, we refer to a lifestyle with great wear and tear throughout the body. Specifically, their joints receive blows or trauma constantly and wear out more quickly than the joints of our pets. These traumatisms usually cause joint inflammation that often goes unnoticed. Many of these sports animals do not usually show pain until the injuries worsen, producing more pain, and being complicated to treat them. The most affected joints are usually those of the front extremities: the shoulder, carpal or wrist and the interphalangeal joints.



Among the most frequent joint pathologies we find muscle contractures, sprains and dislocations.

  • Contractures and muscle aches are one of the most common injuries and are usually caused by poor training. Trainers have to follow a series of steps to get dogs used to the new physical demands of their profession. Many trainers perform these exercises daily to work on strength, endurance and speed in a balanced and progressive way. It is advisable to warm up before exercise, stretch before and after and relax the muscles through massage or more specific techniques such as magnetotherapy.
  • Sprains are injuries to the ligaments from sudden movement or from exceeding the physiological limits of joint movement. They are usually accompanied by inflammation, hematoma and pain that prevents movement of the affected joint. In this case, the most affected joint is the wrist and interphalangeal. For example, sled and rescue dogs use the front legs to slow the weight of the body on descending slopes and to cling to the terrain on ascending slopes. This effort accompanied by the weight of their colleagues and the owner usually causes very serious sprains that are usually accompanied by wear of the digital pads and loss of the nail.
  • Dislocations are described as an abnormal displacement of the articular surfaces. Traumatic dislocations (from sudden blows or forced movements) usually occur from the rupture of a ligament or tendon of the most important muscle. This causes the bones not to fit as they should producing erosion, muscle atrophy and rupture of other ligaments. For example, when jumping from a considerable height, dogs fall on their front or back legs and can cause the tendon of the biceps muscle to rupture. This would cause the shoulder to disengage and the animal could not support or raise the arm.

The best treatment on these occasions is the prevention of injuries. Dominique Grandjean, director of the sport unit at L’Ecole Nationale Veterinaire d’Alfort and Colonel of the Paris Fire Sappers brigade, states that “A search and rescue dog must always be prepared. Like any athlete, he must train and return to training.” Once the injury appears, more than three weeks of rest are necessary, preventing them from doing their job. Many of them would be left with chronic sequelae, such as osteoarthritis, and with a very high probability of repeating the injury if it is not treated correctly. Physical therapists recommend a good daily workout to strengthen the muscles and stretch the tendons and ligaments well. As for rehabilitation, companies such as Ortocanis.com, offer us hip, elbow and carpal supports that in addition to applying a slight pressure to the joint and being able to choose different degrees of immobilization, keep the joint warm and improve performance. These technical aids made especially for dogs, allow a cure of quality injuries and considerably reduce the time of rehabilitation.


Diana Uribelarrea

UCE University of Valencia

An example of overcoming A disabled dog competes in an agility contest with his wheelchair.

Zip has five titles of agility champion, achieved before an accident left her paralyzed.

Un perro discapacitado compite en un concurso de agilidad con su silla de ruedas Perra discapacitadaA CNN viewer presented a video of herself and her disabled Border Collie competing in an agility contest in Pensacola, Florida.

The owner of the dog commented: “Zip has taught me many lessons, one of them is that you can not let a disability put you on a sofa.” “Many are already those who have told me that they were going through a difficult time in their lives and seeing the case of Zip gave them hope and grabbed the problem by the horns.”

Proceeds raised from zip’s exhibit and his guide Sue went toward cancer research in dogs.

Physical activity in older dogs


To begin with, we must make one aspect clear: “age is not a disease“… dogs of a certain age can and should do physical activity, yes, adapted to their possibilities.

The possibilities of each dog and its characteristics range from age, (of course a puppy is not the same as a 16-year-old dog), breed, sex … but also modifiable aspects such as physical condition, “dog humor”, traumatological, rheumatological or neurological pathologies, their general health condition (aspects related to internal medicine)…

Dogs must do physical activity all their lives, puppies must run, jump, play with other dogs, climb slopes, jump margins, adult dogs from 2 years old can practice canine sports or accompany their owner on bike rides, in the mountains or jogging with their owner …

In dogs of large breeds: German shepherds, golden, labrador … from the age of 9-10 we must begin to control their physical activity but in no case suppress it.Perros ancianos, viejos o con discapacidades físicas

If we have a good veterinarian it is advisable to do some control x-ray if we observe slight lameness or premature tiredness. Sometimes dogs stop at their marches or runs due to joint problems and we can confuse it with fatigue mistakenly attributing the renunciation of the long walk to physical fatigue and not to joint pain.

There are numerous technical aids and orthoses on the market, elbow, knee, shoulder, carpus, tarsus… that we can use in older dogs to improve their joint state and allow them to continue with their physical activity in a comfortable way.

It is advisable, then, if we observe a “downturn” in the “sports performance” of the dog or in its physical activity to go to the veterinarian and not associate it directly with the age since many things can be done to improve this joint state and adapt the physical activity which will contribute to the improvement of its general health and its mood in particular.

Toni Ramon


Not everything can be problems and solutions, here is an article about a new sport. Who doesn’t like to run with their dog?

Canicross is a sports modality with the participation of a dog and a person that derives from mushing (dog sled shooting). The difference is that in canicross the snow is not necessary, it is not practiced with a sled but simply the runner is tied to his dog by means of a belt and a rope that is tied in turn to the dog’s harness. One of the main advantages of canicross is that it can be practiced at all levels, it can be done at an amateur level, simply by sharing your time playing sports with your dog, signing up for low-level tests or entering the leagues and competing more “in I laughed”.

One of the main characteristics of canicross is that both the races and the training sessions can be practiced in very beautiful places, surrounded by nature and far from the madding crowd of cities. In any case, there are people who practice canicross in the city or in coastal cities by the sea.


In any case, canicross is a tremendously cheap sport, we need sports shoes, a harness and a rope. The waste of material is minimal and both the rope and the belt for the runner as well as the harness for the dog can last us several seasons.

The regulations are very simple, we can summarize them in that dogs that are not dangerous must participate, and we are referring to the specimen, not to the breed, since all without exception are admitted, which must be in good health, have passed the rigorous veterinary checks, up-to-date vaccination and implanted microchip.
If there is a conflicting dog, for example with other dogs, but not manifestly dangerous, it may take the start last or with a muzzle.

The runner must always go behind the dog, at the most to the side, if the runner overtakes the dog and pulls him, he can be disqualified, the dog can only be pulled when changes of direction or in cases of distraction of the animal. Physical or verbal aggression against one’s own or another’s dogs is also not allowed.

For more information on regulations you can consult the website of the Royal Spanish Federation of Winter Sports .

There are races throughout Spain. In Catalonia, one of the places with the most tradition, they are already in the fifth edition of the Catalan canicross league that takes place in its versions on land or snow (where runners compete on snow). This league is called by four federations:

The Catalan Federation of Winter Sports,

The Catalan Federation of Agility,

The Catalan Federation of Athletics,

The Federation of Excursionist Entities of Catalonia.

You must be a member of one of these federations to participate in the league.

In the 2010-2011 season the first Spanish Canicross League began http://liganacionalcanicross.viviti.com/

You can also find information in the Canicross Section of the Spanish Association of Mushers (AEM)

Canicross is an eminently winter sport, especially in our country since dogs at temperatures above 15 degrees already begin to suffer more than they should. In the Catalan league they are considering suspending a test or shortening it after 20º, they are not suspended, for example, in case of rain.

In short, it is about running with the dog doing a physical activity in good conditions for the dog in the middle of nature, all a joy.

Orthocanis team.