Client Izzy. Photo Credit: CTV Archives
Why is it Important?
Having a fit and healthy dog is important, in the long run will not only save you money but most importantly, give your dog the best quality of life.
Your dog’s exercise, whether it be fun and playful or more structured, should be diversified and hits their muscles in a balanced manner. While, having a fit dog is important, unbalanced muscle tone in any dog can lead to injury. Engaging your dog in specific exercises working both sides of the body and including both core and surface muscles are key to a proper workout. Releasing high-tone tense muscle and working low tone muscles can significantly help balance you dog.
For example, many dogs tend to inadvertently load their body weight onto their front legs more than their hind legs during
activity or if they have an injury, thus the front of the torso and limbs can become stronger than their hind end. This can lead to relative weakness in the hind end of the dog, leading to a higher risk of injury.
Client Izzy is a great example of what swimming can do for well defined, balanced muscles.
Photo Credit: CTV Archives
Swimming in a warm water therapy pool is a great way to balance muscle tone as well as build any low tone muscles. A trained hydrotherapist uses techniques to build specific muscles and increase the range of motion in your dog’s joints. With the use of therapeutic techniques and activities in the warm water, specific muscle groups, mainly those protecting key joints such as the hips and stifle (knees), can be targeted to strengthen the dog and increase their mobility and range of motion.
Warm water therapy allows for dogs to have fun and build confidence in the water. This activity also gives relief from aches and pains, while achieving a relaxed, balanced body. Weekly therapy in the pool is a great way to maintain muscles, and stay in shape -just like the gym or cross training, long term commitment is the goal.
Being fit, healthy and balanced is the key to your dog having a great quality of life.