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A little exercise goes a long way. It keeps your dog healthy by increasing his vitality, maximizing oxygenation of the musculature and assisting the removal of toxins. Exercises help build good, strong bones and muscles for a better overall performance.
Regular exercises calm down the central nervous system, helping him sleep better, giving him more energy. Furthermore, exercising your dog is fun and it is one of the best ways to spend time with your dog.

The choice of exercises is mostly up to you, but it depends a lot on what kind of dog you have. Puppies love to wrestle and chase; they never seem to run out of energy. Most dogs like to play Frisbee in the park, fetch a ball or a stick.  Large dogs need more exercise than small dogs - at least two walks a day. But if your dog is older, he may just want to take walks in the neighborhood.

Regardless of your dog’s age, breed and condition, you can actively participate in his overall wellness by implying a home care health program that includes stretching exercises and gentle massage, possibly some hydrotherapy modalities. Regular applications will ensure optimal wellness for your animal companion.

Stretching exercises will maintain good joints, ligaments and muscles flexibility and regular application might even possibly regain some flexibility in stiff muscles and fascia layers.

Massage will secure good flow of blood and lymph securing respectively a good supply of oxygen and nutrients and assisting the removal of toxins. This regular massage application will prevent the formation of trigger points and possibly stress points. The origin/insertion massage technique will allow you to maintain optimal performance in your athletic dog.

Occasionally you can use cold or heat applications to secure some vaso-constriction or vaso-dilation benefits in your dog. Cold will help reduce any swelling often associated with inflammation of muscles, tendons, ligaments and joint capsules. Heat will help you loosen tight muscles and stiff fascia layers.

A regular application of massage, laced with stretching and possible hydrotherapy modalities will secure many positive benefits onto your dog musculo-skeletal structures. Also, it will give you prime feedback on how your animal is doing, allowing you to adjust your training schedule to maximize your dog health and fitness or to take fast action if some unpleasant symptoms manifest.

Meanwhile, when exercising your dog you need to keep a few insights in order to minimize the risk of injury. For your dog’s safety, here are a few pointers you should NOT do when exercising your dog.

  • Don't exercise when it is very hot or very cold.
  • Don't let your dog run loose near traffic.
  • Don't exercise your dog right before or after he eats.
  • Don’t let your dog without water

For your own safety, you should NOT ride a bike, rollerblade or skateboard with your dog on a leash do when exercising your dog.

I hope you enjoyed this article and found the information useful.  My goal is help you provide quality home care for the benefit of your animal. 

Please visit our FREE library. Our many articles address important aspects of animal wellness and fitness. Take the time to scroll through our free library to find out how you can actively contribute to your dog’s wellness.

Animal Awareness also offers a large video library with over a 100 mini-videos that will show you how to easily perform the various massage and stretching techniques talked about in this article. These videos offer you the correct start and visual guidance. With this knowledge, you will be able to develop a good home care program for the benefit of your animal friend.  He will love you for it.

Enjoy your new Awareness!

Jean-Pierre Hourdebaigt, LMT

A regular application of the “Full Body Massage” (CV006) will be a great preventive measure. Also, the use of “Stretching Exercises” (CV007) will maximize the benefit of your home care program.

The “Trigger Point Massage technique” (CV010) and the “Stress Point Massage Technique” (CV011) are strongly recommended to assist the muscular fitness of athletic animals. For those who really want to get the maximum benefit from their massage, I suggest the “Forty Stress Point Locator” (CV013) to identify the most common areas of muscular stress in any active dog.

The “Trouble Spot Massage Routine" (CV018) will give you a sense of accuracy in your preventive effort to best assist your pet companion.

If you are just starting with your home care program, consider our “Introduction to Animal Massage” package,a 20% discount value on the first 7 DVDs, to secure a sound foundation in your animal massage skills. Then take advantage of our other packages to increase your knowledge of home-care protocols for the benefit of your dog(s).