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  • Writer's pictureDr. Maya Pande

A Cookie Test For Neck Pain

Updated: Sep 15, 2020

Here's a way to check your pet's neck range of motion (ROM). Stand (sit for a cat or smaller dog) behind them and hold a treat/cookie near their nose. Slowly bring it to the right and then to the left. Watch their head. You may have to do this a couple of times in order to see it properly or because the little rascal stole the treat!

Can your pet do both ways equally? Are they moving their whole body to avoid moving just their head?

Now do this again while standing (or kneeling) in front of your dog or cat. Watch their face and eyes. Any pain seen on their face? Any squinting of their eyes in a certain position?

Cookie Test for Dogs

Next, stand beside them. Hold the treat out in front of their nose and slowly move it up to over their head and down under their chin. Are they using just their eyes or their whole head? Do the movements seem stiff or limited?

Do this again while standing in front and watching their face. Any squinting or expression changes?

Did you know that problems with neck ROM can cause limping or lameness, or always laying on the same side, or obsessive licking (in a bid to comfort themselves)? The limping and laying on the same side can result in other problems in their back legs, low back or shoulders. The obsessive licking can affect their mental health.

If you notice any problems with your pet's ROM, animal chiropractic can help to improve their movement as well as compensatory issues. Give us a call.

(Oh boy, do I wish I could draw like this! Unfortunately I can't so this image was borrowed from

Thanks Natalya Zahn!)


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