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How to Size Your Dog for a Knee Brace at Home

Derrick Campana

If you notice your dog limping or laying down awkwardly, you might want to consider getting it an orthopedic brace to promote healing. But what is the right size? You may own a large breed, but that doesn’t automatically mean that you’ll need a large dog knee brace. 

If you are considering purchasing a knee brace for your dog, be sure you have the correct sizing information before placing an order for one. So, how to measure a dog for a knee brace? If you want an accurate measurement, use the guidelines below.

How to Measure Dog for Knee Brace

Let’s assume that your dog needs a brace for its knee. How would you measure it? Well, first things first, locate the problem leg. If your dog won’t put on weight on one of its hind legs, that’s the leg you want to measure.

dog knee brace

Step 1: Measure Your Dog’s Weight

Before getting to the leg, start by measuring your dog’s weight in pounds.

Step 2: Measure The Upper Leg’s Circumference

Take the dog's upper leg circumference as the initial measurement. Use the tape measure to encircle the widest area of your dog’s leg, which is the spot just below its hip. Note the unit of measurement in inches.

Step 3: Measure The Upper Leg’s Height

Take a measurement of your dog's upper leg. Using a tape measure, begin measuring your dog's length from the knee all the way up to the hip. Don't forget to jot down the measurement in inches.

Step 4: Measure Above The Knee

Measure the thigh one inch above the knee. Dogs weighing less than 15 pounds should be measured half an inch above the knee.

Step 5: Measure Below The Knee

Wrap up by taking the last circumference measurement an inch below the knee.

These measurements will come in handy when you’re ready to purchase a knee (stifle) brace for your dog. Make sure you work with a provider that can customize the sizing for your dog. Some companies have generic measurements, and while they could be advantageous, they won’t be as effective as a brace that was made especially for your pooch. 

custom knee brace

How to Make a Knee Brace for a Dog

Despite their high activity levels, dogs don't always know their boundaries. Their active lifestyle and inquisitive nature puts them at risk for harm. First, we feel it's important to stress the need to consult with experts before attempting to make a stifle brace for your dog. 

However ingenious you may be, the best brace can only be created with professional-grade medical equipment; therefore, the homemade solution is merely a workaround. That being said, here's how to rig together a temporary knee brace for your pup until the real deal shows up in the mail.

  • The knee is a hinge joint; hence it has special support requirements. Since the joint is intended to move only back and forth, the brace must prevent any sideways motion.
  • The side supports of a dog's knee brace must be sturdy. The exterior of the leg and the interior of the leg that faces the abdomen must both have these supports. Mobility is essential; therefore, the brace must allow for some.
  • A metal hinge joint, available at any hardware shop, is the component most commonly used in homemade dog knee braces. The hinge joint's alignment with the spot where the knee bends naturally is of utmost importance.
  • You'll want to house the supports and hinge joint in something cushiony but sturdy. The material should be sturdy enough to keep your pet in place while also being plush and pleasant to the touch. Keep in mind that the brace will be in constant motion with the joint; thus, a scratchy fabric will only increase discomfort.

custom stifle brace

Best Dog Knee Brace for Torn ACL

A knee injury needs support and stability to heal. If you're certain that your dog requires a brace but aren't sure where to start, Bionic Pets can help. Our orthopedic braces are intended to help dogs suffering from injuries, joint degradation, and other related conditions. Please contact us to explore your pet's requirements further.