Injury Prevention is key in #caninefitness

One of THE BEST things you can do to prevent injuries is to Warm-Up your dog prior to exercise! Why? Because most dogs are sedentary in the house, car or crate prior to exercise! So, by NOT warming up your dog, you are putting them at high risk for injuries.

Especially before allowing your dog to do any explosive movements like:
play with other dogs
play fetch
do canine performance sports

Regardless of their age or breed or how in-shape you feel your dog is!

There are 3 things you want to do to warm up your dog:
1️⃣ stretch!
2️⃣ get the blood flowing
3️⃣ loosen up their joints

An effective warm-up is stretching combined with continuous and controlled movement!
Warm-Up Exercise Ideas

1️⃣ 5-10 minute brisk on-leash walk (no stopping)
2️⃣ 5-10 minute obedience and tricks session (use a food 🦴 reward to ensure controlled movements!)
push-ups (sit to down to sit)
weaving or figure 8’s through your legs
backing up
TRICKS like crawling, sit pretty, spin (both directions) and bow
3️⃣ Slow and Controlled Tug Play making sure all 4 paws STAY ON THE GROUND with you moving the dog side to side
4️⃣ Treadmill Training! 5-10 minutes of Brisk walking progressing to a slow jog for the last 5 minutes

To determine how long you should warm up your dog, consider these factors:

If the weather is hot and/or humid, or cold then you should do longer warm-ups!

The Exercise your dog is about to get… if there is a lot of explosive movement involved, you should do a longer warm up. However, if you’re going on a hike or something similar, a quick warm up is sufficient.

Your dog’s age! If you have a young dog who’s growth plates are still open (typically 18-20months or younger) OR if you have a senior dog, I always recommend a full warm-up stretch and exercise to prevent injury

Your dog’s weight and health. If your dog is overweight or recovering from a surgery or injury, I highly recommend a longer warm-up to prevent possible injury, inflammation or pain.

By: Trainer Samantha Lee, Certified Canine Fitness Trainer, Valor K9 Academy – Boise

certified canine fitness trainer