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Why Your Dog Limps When Walking But Not When Running!

We all love our dogs and they are by far the most popular type of pet to keep in North America and Europe where the bulk of our regular readers tend to live.

Due to this, we often see requests for help from members of the dog-owning community who are having problems with their dog and are not sure how to move forward to help their dog.

One question that we have noticed being asked more frequently is why your dog limps when walking but not when running and this is only becoming a more popular question with each month that goes by.

There are actually a number of different reasons that your dog may limp when walking but not when running and it can be difficult to diagnose the specific cause without seeing your dog but we will offer advice on the most common causes throughout our article below.

As with most things like this, you are definitely better off booking a video call with a veterinarian to have them check your dog over as soon as possible as they can offer advice specific to your dog’s situation.

This tends to work out much cheaper than taking your dog to your local veterinarian’s office while still giving you the exact information on why your dog limps when walking but not when running.

Hip Dysplasia Setting In!

Hip dysplasia is probably the most common cause of a dog being able to run normally but limp when walking at a regular pace.

It is a problem that is common with many dog breeds and is usually genetic and will take anywhere from a couple of months to a couple of years to set in.

This is why this can be such a common problem due to it taking so long to show its symptoms in your dog.

More and more people are having this problem with their dogs due to many backyard breeders not implementing selective breeding to protect the health of the puppies they produce and just breeding as often as possible to maximize profits.

If you catch hip dysplasia early enough then there may be things that you are able to implement to try and prevent it from causing long-term problems in your dog but this is not guaranteed.

Some pet insurance plans will actually offer a free check up with vets for puppies to try and help detect if your dog has hip dysplasia early on as it can work out cheaper for them to go with the pre-treatments for hip dysplasia in your dog rather than pay for the treatments once it takes full effect.

Problems With Gait!

A very common yet often overlooked problem that can cause dogs to lip s they walk but not when they run is issues with your dog’s gait.

This is due to the way that your dog runs being able to increase its gait and slightly adjust its muscles to be able to run fine but then when it walks, it goes back to its bad habits or poor waking posture and starts to limp again.

This can sometimes be corrected in some dogs depending on what the exact problem is with its gait when it walks and runs but it can take time to correct the issue.

Unfortunately, this is not a problem that most veterinarians are able to help with as this is often down to the way that your dog chooses to walk rather than an actual physical problem.

We know that this may sound strange as your dog chooses to walk in a way that it finds painful and causes it to limp but it is a common problem that is only getting increasingly common.

There are some specialist dog trainers who specifically work with this but they tend to only be in California and New York right now.

Muscle Cramps After Running!

Some dogs don’t have enough salt in their diet that can increase the chances of them having muscle cramps after being able to go off their leash and run around.

This is far more common than most people initially think too due to most dog foods not being nutritionally complete and often leaving your dog deficient in various vitamins and minerals.

Although too much salt can actually be harmful to your pet dogs, too little salt can cause problems with their muscles so there are some sodium supplements on the market for dogs.

Many people also opt to add a general multivitamin for dogs to their dogs diet as it can also help prevent some common joint issues that can cause dogs to limp when walking too.

Adrenaline Overflow!

Although rare, some dogs can actually end up with an injury from running around and playing but the large amount of adrenaline in your dog’s body ends up masking the pain until much later.

Once your dog calms down and is walking home, the adrenaline can leave its system resulting in the dog seemingly randomly starting to limp around.

Many people report that their dog will be fine running around and then a couple of minutes when walking home randomly start to limp with this commonly being the problem.

Most of the time the injury will pass after a couple of days and your dog will be fine but it might be a good idea to book a video call with a veterinarian to have them check your dog out if it does not stop limping after a couple of days.

Arthritis Starting To Develop!

Arthritis is a popular problem with older dogs that can cause your dog to limp in a number of situations. Serious arthritis will often cause your dog to limp on a regular basis but there are a number of different ways that arthritis can cause your dog to limp in different ways.

Just like arthritis in humans, it can be difficult for your veterinarian to treat arthritis in your dog and once it sets in, the only option may be to leave it for your dog to limp when walking.

Although this may sound cruel to some, it is often better than giving your dog a bunch of painkillers every day and numbing it so much that it is unable to be its normal self.


That brings our article going over why your dog limps when walking but not when running to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you and just like we said back at the start of the article, in most cases, it is best to just get a vet involved as early as possible so they are able to offer you their professional opinion on whats wrong with your dog. They will take your dogs specific conditions and situation into account as they have direct access to your dog and can ask you questions.