If your dog has been injured or ill to the point of needing to have one of its legs amputated, this can be a difficult situation for you to endure. Fortunately, your local veterinarian can handle this complicated procedure, and once the dog recovers, it can lead a normal life with just three legs. As a responsible pet owner, there are a number of care tips that you'll want to keep in mind after your dog has a leg amputated. Here are three specific goals that can be instrumental during this new phase of your pet's life.

Keep Its Weight Under Control

Many dogs become overweight due to a lack of exercise and the consumption of treats. After an amputation procedure, it's even more important for you to take ownership of your dog's weight. A dog that is overweight can suffer from joint problems, and this is especially a concern with a three-legged dog. Whereas another dog can support its weight on four legs, each of your dog's three legs will be under more stress from the weight of its torso. Feeding the animal the suggested amount of food daily, staying away from excess treats, and offering opportunities for exercise will be instrumental in weight maintenance.

Use A Leash During Walks

If you've trained your dog well, you may be comfortable walking it off its leash. In the wake of an amputation procedure, however, you'll want to use a leash to walk your dog. It's possible that your pet could attempt to run away from you during a walk — perhaps chasing a neighborhood cat or a squirrel — and initially forget that it's missing a leg. Depending on the dog's exuberance to chase its target, it could stumble and potentially sustain an injury. Using a leash, especially during the walks that directly follow the surgery, will prevent such an issue.

Keep Your Pet Away From Aggressive Dogs

It's possible that you've occasionally visited a local dog park in the past to give your pet a chance to run freely with other dogs. While dog parks have a lot of benefits, one problem is that some pets can sometimes act aggressively toward others. You don't want your dog getting toppled over by bigger dogs and potentially sustaining an injury. It's beneficial to keep your dog out of this type of environment whenever it appears that there are large, aggressive dogs sharing the space.

To learn more about pet care, contact a veterinarian.