The 80:20 Rule of Everything
Posted in Chiropractic Treatments for Dogs

Have you ever been on a diet, but you take a bite of that doughnut and immediately think you have failed and the diet is well and truly over? This kind of “all or nothing” approach to dieting is unsustainable, and the same applies to the rehabilitation of your dog.

At the start of a rehabilitation programme, I always put together a “POA” ( plan of action), to support your dog’s recovery following injury, surgery or osteoarthritis diagnosis, including;

1; Changes to diet

2; Exercise modification

3; Rehab exercises

4; Forward referral for hydrotherapy

It isn’t a dictatorship, it’s a collaborative approach between me and the patient’s family. At the end of the appointment, I will arrange to see my patient again in 7 to 14 days to review progress of the POA.


At the next appointment, I see looks of concern, wringing of hands, and guilty expressions. As we unpick the preceding week, it turns out a family friend came round with their dog, and my patient did a little more garden play that day than was ideal. Or the nutrition changes haven’t gone so well, as the new food only arrived 3 days ago, or the home exercises have been missed because of work pressures.

Do these deviations from the POA mean the rehab plan has failed and your dog is destined to a life of lameness, pain and sadness? Of course it doesn’t, because life happens all around us all the time, perfection doesn’t exist and we are all trying our best.

This is where the 80:20 rule comes in, and it is super simple; if 80% of the time we can follow the POA, but 20% of the time we are unable to follow the POA, then the chances of a positive outcome are pretty high.

So please, take the pressure off yourselves, do the best you can, but be kind to yourself, and as long as you can try for 80:20, you are doing well, and that applies to your diet too, so go on, have the doughnut, but just the one mind you.



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