Some of the most useful tips I have learned about dog health have been from agility people. The first life-changing tip was in regard to Miles’ diet. Since not everyone wants to hang out for 12 hour stints in freezing cold or sweltering hot barns, I do my best to share the best tips I have learned from agility people on this blog. Since I started agility, people have been recommending the Assisi Loop. This recommendation is mirrored heartily by canine fitness and rehab professionals and sports/rehab veterinarians.
Being a canine athlete is hard work!
Active Dogs and Prevention
Miles is a terrier (I could probably end this paragraph right now when it comes to “active dogs” being wild and rough on their bodies! 🤣) and leads a very active life. Many people think that agility is a great outlet for a high-drive high-energy dog (and it is!) but what most people don’t know is that a lot goes into ensuring agility dogs have long careers and retirements that are free of chronic pain. Culturally we like to think of high-energy, high-drive working dogs as being “durable.” Their ethics and intentions are durable, but like the rest of us, their bodies aren’t. For many high-energy dogs and canine athletes regardless of age, injuries can easily and devastatingly compromise their long-term quality of life.
Injuries at any age can contribute to the development of arthritis and chronic pain, and can shorten our dogs lives. Did you know many dogs begin to develop arthritis when they are young? Safe exercise and recovery outlets are both very important for our dogs’ health long-term; especially for high-energy dogs!
The Assisi Loop
When Miles and I started to compete in agility, one of the first people to approach me with kindness and tips was Elizabeth. Elizabeth is a multi-podium winner with her tiny dogs Jojo, Kiki, and Brownie. For years Elizabeth told me about the Assisi Loop, and it wasn’t until Miles became injured last year that I finally listened. Injuries never happen at good times, and Miles’ occurred in the peak of lockdown when our regular vet and specialists were booked months out. It was scary. Knowing I had an at-home aid that really works offered a lot of relief as we waited. Once we saw the veterinarians and rehabilitation specialists, they were pleased we had the loop as all of them recommend it.
How the Assisi Loop Works
The Assissi Loop uses targeted Pulsed Electromangetic Field (PEMF™) technology to help reduce pain and inflammation in taxed or troublesome areas. It works wonders on everything from sore muscles to arthritis. I am currently in the University of Tennessee’s rigorous Certified Canine Fitness Instructor program, and I have learned a great deal about canine fitness and injuries from some of the world’s top veterinary orthopedic surgeons and researchers. People are so different than dogs! We know what is sore and we tend to really think through our pain. Dogs on the other hand work hard to mask their pain. Masking pain can lead to prolonged, unhealed, and worsened injuries. It is up to us to help our dogs. If you know your dog has had a vigorous day of physical activity, it doesn’t matter if they seem fine; help them recover. Offer cushy bedding and recovery tools like the Assisi Loop.
The Assisi Loop is a powerful recovery tool to use with your dog post-activity. The Loop helps trigger your dog’s own natural anti-inflammatory process, stimulating cellular repair and aiding in the recovery process.
How to Use The Assisi Loop
The Assisi Loop is a small device which consists of the “loop” and the control unit. It looks a bit like a futuristic necklace! When you press the button on the control unit, a green light flashes intermittently for 15 minutes. This means the loop is active for a timed 15 minute treatment.
Above: Miles is so used to getting his picture taken that during this shoot he “told” me this pose was important to catch. So this picture makes the cut!
You don’t always have to put the Loop around your dog’s neck as shown in most of the photos. You can also lay it under your dog’s bed or over your dog. The device has a treatment field that extends ten inches above and below the Loop, so it’s quite versatile! When I first got my Loop, I was so worried that Miles would hurt it because it looks delicate. While I do my best to be gentle with it, I’ve been relieved it is quite durable. One evening Miles came to greet me with it mysteriously around his waist… Oh Miles!
Thank You Loop!
The Assisi Loop is a wonderful prevention/recovery tool which costs approximately as much as 2-3 veterinary visits. I do not say this to imply that it is a replacement for veterinary attention — if your dog is experiencing a problem, please see a veterinary professional immediately. Like most people, I do not have a lot of financial “wiggle room,” but extending my beloved co-pilot’s lifetime and providing him with freedom from chronic pain are everything to me. Originally I will admit I thought that the cost of 2-3 veterinary appointments was a lot for this sort of device, but in retrospect now having had a dog experience an injury that could’ve seriously effected him long-term, and seeing how in a state of crisis the Loop helped, I am completely on board. I decided to make this post to help anyone who has heard of the Loop but isn’t sure, and/or anyone out who hasn’t heard of it. I am grateful for our Loop and moving forward I will always have one handy. I am so lucky that Miles was able to make a full recovery from his serious injury partially in thanks to the Loop. Now the Assisi Loop is a useful part of Miles’ recovery process from fun daily adventures. I am so grateful for Assisi for making an at-home recovery tool that is so effective. I will leave you with a cute video of Miles’ nightly ritual: his bedtime Assisi treatment!
Emma, This is very good to know information. I agree with you. If I have the chance to keep my dog from pain due to injury, I’ll pay the cost required. Thanks for this great post…Miles looks so cute under the covers!
Love you both,
Darcy and Sally
I am so glad you enjoyed the post and found it useful! I wish I’d listened to Elizabeth sooner but I am so happy I found my way to the ‘Loop eventually. It is amazing!
Has there been any studies with it to help with hip dysplasia? Our airedale has it and looking for alternatives besides surgery as it’s in the early stages.
Aww I am sorry to hear that Danielle. It speaks volumes to your attentiveness and care that you were able to get an early diagnosis.
I searched the Assisi Loop Clinical Use Guide (link here) for hip dysplasia and they have a section on how to use the Loop for hip dysplasia on page 39.
One of the peer-reviewed veterinary clinical trials (with a double-blind study) that I read about when researching the Loop was about a different orthopedic condition, IVDD (Intervertebral disc disease – the leading cause of paralysis in dogs). Link here. The study showed that dogs who used the Loop required less harsh drugs to treat pain, and that they also recovered faster from surgery. This study to me suggests that dogs with other orthopedic conditions likely also benefit from the Loop treatment.
This sentiment is reflected in my experience working with the top veterinary rehabilitation specialists all over the world for client’s dogs, many of whom also have hip dysplasia. The rehab vet specialists all heartily recommend the Loop. It is really a wonderful tool to have at home.
Keep me updated! ❤️
Hi Emma and Miles, thanks for the review! I too have Welsh Terriers and they can be REALLY hard on their bodies. I have an 11 yo female who won’t stop trying to climb trees, and we’ve paid for a lot of acupuncture! I’m thinking this loop will be way less expensive in the long run, but had not talked to anyone about it! I’ll be getting one!
Spoken like an experienced Welsh Terrier enthusiast! 😂😂😂 Miles also receives acupuncture from an orthopedic veterinary specialist and he is a big fan of the Loop. I am so glad I was able to introduce you to it! I guess I am passing on the good karma that Elisabeth originally sent my way (from the blog story). We can all really thank her! I am looking forward to hearing the update on how you like your ‘Loop. The only thing I really need to figure out now is a fancy carrying case for mine… I bring it everywhere!
I’m sure that I’ve heard about the Assisi Loop somewhere, as it seems familiar, but I really didn’t look into it. But I just love hearing reviews from someone I trust, and this product is intriguing for sure! Now that Oliver is getting older, he may be developing a bit of arthritis and a sore back/leg sometimes, not that you can tell by any changes in how crazy he is! Anyway, we had taken him to a pet rehab clinic for laser therapy, and hydrotherapy among other things, which did help a little and he loved it. But the costs just added up so quickly and it was a big ordeal to take him to these appointments. So the idea of having something we could use at home as preventative/maintenance as he ages, and is simple to use when he’s laying down seems fabulous!!
I’m so happy that the Assisi Loop has helped Miles and I’ll be looking into this more for sure! As always, thanks for sharing the things that will help us that we didn’t know we needed!
When Miles was recovering from his injury last year I was in the same boat and I agree, man did it add up! Prior to his injury I wasn’t sure about an at-home product that cost as much as 1-2 regular vet bills but once you go through rehab you GET it is nothing and that prevention is gold. And, nothing is more wonderful than a dog who is aging happily! 😃 It is crazy to think that dogs who are 6 years old are “seniors…” That means if all goes well 50-75% of their lifespan will be experienced as seniors. Anyway, thank you for your thoughtful comment! 🌱
Emma, thank you for this! I only wish I had found you earlier. Having had terriers in the past that struggled with orthopedic issues and only having access to “google” or traditional veterinary care, I can speak to how frustrating it is when you are searching for alternative treatments and more importantly, proactive treatments, like the Assisi loop. That is not to detract from veterinary care, obviously, but as a dog owner, you just know there is more that you could be doing if only you had the knowledge or they had the time to devote to your dog only (as it should be😊 ). You have taken the guesswork out of that equation and continually offer us ways to avoid unnecessary heartache and pain…and in the long run, mounting medical fees only to have the same results time after time. Your years of education, continued studies and commitment to sharing all of that with us means so much … I wish I could shout it from the rooftops! Until I find that platform…Wellington and I will continue to follow your lead! Thank you for keeping us in the “loop” (get it?)…we’ll be buying one today!
I have been interested in an Assisi loop for some time, but I’ve been skeptical. I trust Emma to give an accurate opinion on the effectiveness of products. So now I’m sold. Placing an order ASAP
Thank you Emma! I currently have a Pembroke Welsh Corgi/Miniature American Shepherd mix. She may look like a corgi but has all the shepherd energy. She is basically a retrieving machine. LOL She currently participates in dock jumping and Fast CAT. I will definitely be adding the Assisi Loop to my routine so that she can continue to do what she likes for many years to come. Miles is adorable!