Exercise programs for dogs. You may be thinking: “What next?!”
Would you guess that the gym is one of the most hazardous places for your health?
Think about it. A gym has every single piece of equipment that can effectively pull a muscle, tweak your back, sprain a joint, the list goes on. This is especially true if you don’t know what you are doing.
So what do you do to get fitter and therefore healthier? Naturally, you speak to a specialist and suddenly, that gym equipment works FOR you. You get Positive Results!
The same thing applies to your dog. Dogs are generally active creatures by nature who enjoys sport, working or simply getting out there and playing about. There are also those dogs needing to get healthier, by losing a little bit of that “middle-aged spread” or getting his body moving again in his twilight years.
Each one of these dogs will benefit from exercise, but do you still need an exercise program for your dog?
You may ask: “What is an exercise program really? Do I really need one?”
Well, you tell me by answering these questions:
- train your dog hard and push him to do well in his sport?
- train your dog to do her sport at the very best speed she can?
- develop his cardio with extra treadmill exercises whenever possible?
- practice and repeat movements required for your sport/competition over and over again until you know your dog has them absolutely correct?
- do this because your dog seems to just love what she does, so you continue as above?
- think these exercises done in your sports training is more than enough for your dog, especially because you train so much?
If you have answered “Yes” to any of these questions, you have entered the gym without consulting the gym specialist!
What can you do?
Individualised exercise programs designed specifically for your dog are a MUST! Every dog should be individually assessed and a programme is designed around each dog’s lifestyle, your lifestyle and around the work or sport you and your dog engage in. A one-size-fits-all general fitness program may be one of the most hazardous programs you can come across. (If you see this, run away!)
Here are just a few things to avoid when starting an exercise programme:
- Going in too hard, too fast, too soon. Just because your dog is healthy, does not mean his muscles are used to other forms of exercise. It takes at least 3 – 4 weeks for muscles to adapt to an exercise or movement.
- Strengthening a muscle causes the muscle to shorten. Stretching a muscle causes a muscle to weaken. But a muscle cannot be strengthened unless it is stretched. I help you understand how to address this safely.
- Conditioning programmes must always be individualised and be as sport-specific as possible. Doing too much conditioning, especially if it is contrary to what is required in your dog’s sport or work, can easily lead to a breakdown of the dog.
- Choose your working surfaces carefully e.g. if your dog has a pelvic instability, try to avoid working in deep sand. Choosing the correct working surface for the correct exercise is important.
The Biokinetic K-9 is for you
At The Biokinetic K-9, your dog is personally assessed in structure and analysed according to his age, lifestyle, health, work and sporting requirements. Done correctly, “Sit” suddenly becomes a very powerful component and is not simply an obedience command. Let’s help you get there.
Consult with me today! As a Certified Canine Athlete Specialist, I am here to teach and show you how to prepare your dog’s body to deliver optimal performance, whether sport-specific or general health.