It's no fun getting old -- and that applies to dogs too. Just as humans develop creaky knees and hips, dogs are prone to a condition called hip dysplasia. It's inherited and afflicts about 8% of dogs.
Hip dysplasia is no walk in the park. It can be very painful, especially for older dogs. Often, they can't get up off the floor and hae trouble going up and down stairs.
The ASPCA defines it as an inherited condition resulting from an improperly formed hip joint. Because the joint is loose, the dog's leg bone moves around too much, causing painful wear and tear.
It usually affects large breed dogs but all dogs can get it. Since it is inherited there really isn't any product that can prevent its development. In severe cases, surgeons can install an artifical hip.
A healthy diet, maintaining a normal weight, exercise, massage, warm and dry sleeping areas, joint supplements, anti-inflammatories and pain-relieving medication can all help manage the condition.
Now there is another option to try to help keep the hip in place. It's a full harness designed by industrial designer Galia Weiss. She developed a harness called the Hipster, which she says not only prevents the joint from disconnecting but also helps strengthen the surrounding muscles. Once strengthened, those muscles keep the femur bone in place and prevent it from popping out.
It is a lightweight frame with adjustable straps and velcro designed to put resistance on the leg muscles to strengthen them while preventing any weight from burdening the dog’s hips and bottom, as shown in this video:
Is it the answer for your dog? Only your veterinarian can answer that question. As the Hipster brace is relatively new, there's not much information available in the way of consumer and veterinarian recommendations.