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There are generally three parts of your pooch’s body for which stretching becomes particularly useful – the shoulders, hips, and back. As dog parents, we can’t always prevent injuries and accidents, but we can always try to prevent canine strain injuries and other muscle-related complications by simply stretching and massaging our pooch on a regular basis.
The stretches below, when done gently and slowly, are usually well-tolerated by most pets. However, if you don’t feel very sure of yourself in your ability to perform the stretches, ask your veterinarian or an animal chiropractor to show you how the stretching should be done so you can carry it out at home.
If your dog demonstrates any sign of pain during any of the stretching, discontinue the movement and have him looked at by your vet ASAP.
Canine Body Parts to Stretch
· The shoulder flexors. These are the muscles responsible for your dog’s fluid movement as well as the proper use of his front legs. To stretch this part, ask your pooch to stand and then grasp his front leg above the elbow. Try placing your other hand under his elbow in order to stabilize it, and then gently move Fido’s leg forward. After reaching the point of resistance, hold the said position between 15 and 30 seconds. Repeat two or three times for each of your dog’s front legs.
· The hip flexors. These muscles, on the other hand, allow your pooch to move his hips and legs while walking, running, or trotting. To stretch these parts, ask Fido to stand and then grasp his back leg above the knee. Try moving the said leg back straight out behind his body slowly and gently. The moment you reach a point of resistance when further extension will now require putting on some degree of pressure, try to hold the leg in that position between 15 and 30 seconds. Repeat the procedure twice or thrice with each of Fido’s back legs.
· The back area. This stretch generally requires the use of some training treats. With your pooch standing and you standing on one side of him, try moving the treat slowly in the direction of his tail. Encourage Fido to follow the treat with his eyes, turning only his head. This shall require Fido to bend on his side into a C-shape. Try holding him in this position between 15 and 30 seconds, and then step to his other side. Repeat the procedure by performing 2 or 3 stretches on every side.
Although there’s almost nothing that we can really do to mend problems associated with unhealthy dog breeding nor can we completely avoid all possible accidents, bear in mind that as dog parents, we can always try to prevent canine strain injuries and other muscle-related complications by simply stretching and massaging our pooch on a regular basis. This way, we can keep him stay fit and well-balanced psychologically. Remember that a well-functioning pooch has maintained its inborn suppleness and elasticity.