Can Stretching Help Your Dog?

Stretching muscles and flexibility has historically been a key aspect of pre and post exercise routine, with its importance taught to us from a young age. For animals this is no different and there are many benefits to incorporating a few stretches into your daily routine. Many studies have identified the key biomechanical benefits of stretching as well as positive effects on performance, health and well-being. Being in close contact with your dogs body also provides an opportunity for a weekly health check and gets them used to touching intimate parts of the body such as the toes and paws.

For many of our dogs, joint degeneration, muscle atrophy, loss of flexibility and subsequent pain are all too common as they age. Unfortunately, conventional options for treating pain and arthritis are often expensive. As a result, it is important to seek natural ways to increase our dog’s longevity in order to minimise pain and promote health.

Here are two simple stretches you can do with your dog as frequently as you like. They encourage spinal flexibility and are a great way to bond with your dog too! If at any time your dog seems uncomfortable or in pain please stop. Passive stretches are to be done without force.

Do not complete these stretches if your dog suffers from any issues involving the spine without guidance from a therapist or vet first.

Tip: if using food please encourage your dog to take the treat slowly and jolting in a stretched position will aggravate the back and neck structures.

Head up

- This stretches the chest muscles and can release tension in the throat and chest.

1. Point the nose upwards either by standing behind like in the picture or from the side. It is easier for the dog to do this in a seated position.

2. you can deepen the stretch by encouraging the dog to lift up a little higher to take the treat.

Head to chest

- This stretches the back and neck and releases spinal tension right down to they’re bottoms.

1. Encourage the nose from a normal position slowly down to the chest.

2. See how the dog in the picture has a nice rounded back and her neck is soft. To deepen the stretch you can bring the nose to the abdomen. if they find this difficult, then you can bring the nose out towards the floor slightly.

If you would like more information on stretching or would like a comprehensive guide on more stretches and exercises you can do with your dog please contact us.