Dogs are extremely active creatures. They need daily exercise and, depending on their breed, some may need to run long distances or have long periods of physical activity.
But physical activity should also build flexibility and strength. Flexibility helps oxygenate the muscles, promotes a better range of motion and better circulation.
A flexible dog is a healthier and stronger dog. If you are trying to help improve your dog’s flexibility and strength, here are some tips to keep in mind.
Nutrition is Key
Lean dogs are healthier and live longer. A good way to determine if your dog is fit is to feel its ribs. It should feel like the knuckles of a hand. If you can’t feel the dog’s ribs, it’s time to start a better diet.
To determine the best nutrition plan for your dog, visit your veterinary. As trained professionals, they can offer valuable insights into things like choosing the best brand for their breed, size, and age.
It is also important to pay attention to changes after changing a dog’s diet, as some may be allergic or experience a bad reaction resulting in joint pain.
Keep your vet in the loop and inform them of any concerning change. Changes in eating patterns may also signal oral health problems, and they should be treated immediately.
Dog Strength Training
For proper posture and development, core dog strength training is essential. Core muscles are the large postural muscles of limbs, spine, and stomach. Strengthening these muscles is important to reduce the incidence of spinal pain and soft tissue injuries. It also helps in preventing osteoarthritis.
Determining a workout routine to build core strength depends highly on the dog’s breed. Dogs with a normal activity level usually have good core strength, but there are specific exercises designed to improve it.
For example, teaching your dog to roll over, to the right and to the left is an excellent alternative. Another good core-strength exercise is usually known as “the chipmunk” and it involves the dog standing on their two back legs and reaching for something with their front legs in an upright position. If you want to start working on your dog’s flexibility, make sure that they have an appropriate core strength before you begin. Exercises to build core strength are especially recommended after an injury.
Sometimes I am asked why is my dog dog stretching all the time. Stretching exercises are very helpful in maintaining overall health, but they should be done carefully. It is very important to warm up before working on stretching exercises.
This can be achieved by a fast walk or run around the corner. Always remain attentive to your dog’s response while stretching: stop the stretch when you start to feel resistance. Then, slowly increase the range of motion.
If the dog has a reaction showing pain – like pulling away – it may be too aggressive or too fast. It is really important to remember that you should never force any joint or muscle. If you suspect pain or an injury, stop the exercise immediately, and take your dog to the emergency vet.
The Importance of Play
While there are many exercises that you can do to improve your dog’s flexibility, most dogs will remain fit and healthy if they can play.
Taking your dog to the doggie park or doggie daycare is an excellent way to socialize and play with other dogs. If you have a dog that spends a lot of time indoors, plan daily play activities where it can run and stretch naturally. Remember that larger breeds need a lot more activity and take them out on a daily basis.
Dogs require attention and care. Before getting a dog, evaluate your lifestyle. If you prefer indoors and are not a very active person, consider a smaller breed that will need less space to exercise.
Keeping a journal of your dog’s activity and response to exercise is a good idea in order to spot any concerning behaviours or understand if they are in pain. Normally, dogs are creatures of habit, so significant changes in their mood or eating patterns usually signal that something is wrong. Remember that yearly checkups are crucial, even if your dog seems healthy. Early diagnosis can be the difference between life and death, and only veterinarians are professionally equipped to spot early-stage diseases or other health issues.