How to Use a Dog ACL Brace | Doggy Brace, Leg Braces for Dogs

How to Use a Dog ACL Brace

Doggy Brace gets a lot of questions and we’re more than happy to clear up any confusion surrounding our braces. The most frequently asked questions we receive are how to use a brace, how long should your dog wear it, and how long should their time of rest be? Here are our answers. 

Question One: How To Use a Dog ACL Brace

Dog ACL braces are used to help support your pup’s rear legs during times of need. This can be when they’re limping, when they’re recovering from a surgery, when they have a chronic illness or affliction such as arthritis, or if they’re predisposed for leg issues. Doggy Brace is not designed to be an alternative to surgery unless surgery isn’t an option for your dog. It is primarily used for preventive care and to support your dog post-surgery. 

For an extensive guide on preventative care, please visit our blog on the topic

Preventative Care

Some dogs are more prone to leg injuries based on their age, weight, and breed. Studies have shown that St. Bernards, Labradors, Newfoundlands, Mastiffs, Rottweilers, and Akitas are more prone to ACL injuries. Older dogs, puppies of larger breeds that grow quickly, and those that are overweight have a higher chance of injury too. 

Recovery from Injury

A dog ACL brace can also help if your dog is recovering from, or has recovered from ACL surgery. Many studies have shown that if a dog has torn one ACL, it’s more likely to tear the other because if your dog will shift more weight onto their healthy leg. The added weight drastically increases your dog’s chance of another injury. 

Using the Brace for Pain Relief

Braces help prevent excessive movement and rotation while supporting your dogs knee and reducing the risk of injury. They’ll help your dog comfortably put weight on their limb as it recovers. Others may find comfort and peace of mind in wearing a knee brace, especially those who suffer from arthritis or chronic pain from a previous injury.

Question Two: How to Use a Doggy Brace

Doggy Brace is easy to use. 

  1. Undo and loosen all of the straps
  2. Turn the brace so the logo faces outside
  3. Slip your dog’s leg into the brace like a sleeve
  4. Wrap the backstrap around their stomach and back
  5. Tighten all of the straps as needed

If they don’t like the backstrap, you can remove it without compromising the brace’s functionality or integrity. To remove it: 

  1. Find the base of the backstrap on the left and right side
  2. Using scissors, cut it off as close to the seam as possible without cutting the actual brace

Question Three: How Long Should My Dog Wear a Brace?

The brace is designed for everyday wear and is most useful when your dog is moving around. It is comfortable and soft, so it shouldn’t tug at your dog’s fur or irritate their skin. However, it is good to allow your dog times of rest to promote good circulation. 

Doggy Brace is designed to be worn all day if your dog needs it. It should not cut off any circulation or cause any harm if your dog wears it for a prolonged period. The times of rest should always be taken into consideration, though, for the comfort of your dog. After all, you wouldn’t want to be stuck wearing the same compression sleeve for days on end, would you?

When Should My Dog Wear a Brace?

Your dog should wear a brace during the following times: 

  • Walks
  • Playtime/exercising 
  • When they’re outside
  • When they’re in a new environment that isn’t their home
  • When they’re with other dogs that aren’t in their household

When Should I Take Off the Brace?

Your dog shouldn’t need the brace during the following times:

  • Times of rest/sleep
  • When they’re in a controlled environment
  • When they’re swimming 

Unfortunately, there is no general rule for how long your dog should wear an ACL brace. It all depends on your pup’s age, weight, energy level, and environment. Some breeds are more prone, and some ages are more prone to (active puppies and seniors). Other dogs that prefer naps over playtime probably don’t need to wear it as often as dogs who zoom around the yard all day. 

It all depends on your dog and their needs. For example, a 9-year-old Shih Tzu that prefers to lounge in the sun may not need to wear a brace a lot during the day, while a 2-year-old Golden Retriever may have it on more than they have it off.

If you have any questions about your dog and Doggy Brace, please contact us at


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