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When is a Dog Brace Not a Good Solution?

Derrick Campana

Here at Bionic Pets, our goal is always to help each animal regain their health, happiness, and mobility. While we certainly work hard to provide a solution to each and every animal, the truth is that a dog brace is not always the answer. Although owners are not happy when we explain that the brace is not the best solution, we believe that being honest is the right thing to do even if that means saying "no," or at the very least "wait."

Our braces are designed to assist dogs with injuries, joint deterioration, and other similar ailments. When would a new dog brace not be the right answer? This would apply to any of the following issues:

#1 Hip Dysplasia. This is a very difficult problem to solve since the range of motion at the hip joint is significant. While we have knee braces, wrist braces, and ankle braces for dogs, we do not have any braces for hip issues. Instead, we encourage you to investigate physical therapy for their dog. If the condition is severe and the dog is having serious difficulty walking, we have another option: the waggin wagon! These custom fitted carts are a helpful vehicle for your pet to mobilize comfortably and securely.

#2 Obesity. Dogs that are extremely overweight are not good candidates for knee (stifle) braces. This is due to the fact that the dog’s belly can prevent the brace from being positioned correctly. The brace can also be pushed off the leg by the belly when the dog sits down. If your dog is otherwise a good candidate for a brace, we encourage you to work on a healthy weight loss routine with your pet and then contact us once your dog is ready.

#3 Age-Related Muscle Atrophy. The fight against aging is a losing battle. Just like us, dogs often experience muscle atrophy as they age. Braces would not be the correct solution in these cases because in order to use a brace effectively, your dog needs to have strength in his or her legs. If a dog cannot get up from lying down, a brace would not make that any easier. In fact, it could actually make it more difficult. 

Are you still not sure what your dog needs? First off, don’t worry. Bionic Pets is here to help. If you are unsure if this is the right choice, we recommend speaking with your vet about this option. If your vet is not familiar with these devices, reach out to VOSM (Veterinary and Orthopedic Sports Medicine Group). They are experts when it comes to dog birth defects, genetic conditions, animal injuries and which solutions are best for each situation. You can also contact us at For the most accurate and quick answer, please clearly describe your questions and include a good photograph of the animal in your email.