Care and love is very important for a dog’s healthy and vital life, you must have a good approach related to a species-appropriate diet, social contacts, and sufficient exercise. In order to stay fit in old age, muscle building is very important for your dog. With many dog sports such as agility, canicross, or bikejoring are good for your dog’s health. In addition to dog sports, there are also many other ways to strengthen the muscles of your dog. You will find lots of stuff in this post, however, it is essential for all athletes – whether dogs or humans – to train and thus slowly build up their muscles. How you can do this and which exercises are good to build muscle in the dog, which aids can be used for this, and which complementary food you can feed supportively, you will also learn in this article. Have fun reading!
Isometric exercises in dog training
Isometric exercises are perfect for muscle building. To explain to you what this is, we have taken them out of the table and want to describe them in more detail here:
What are isometric exercises and what do they do?
Unlike training with aids such as a wobbly board, cavaletti or a treadmill, you do not need any accessories for the isometric exercises. It only takes you and your dog. A major advantage of these exercises is that your dog learns to relax in the process. Relaxation leads to serenity and this leads to your dog being better able to deal with difficult or stressful situations.
But how and why do isometric exercises cause relaxation?
In these muscle building exercises, you put your hand on different parts of your dog’s body with gentle pressure. First of all, this leads to the fact that your dog perceives your hand, the touched body part, and thus himself better. The body feeling is strengthened and your dog can be brought out of a situation in which he is restless, nervous, excited, or tense and back into the here and now.
The touch leads to a change in the tension of the muscles. The gentle pressure causes your dog to tense the touched muscle group. The aim of the exercise is the subsequent targeted relaxation – letting go. This is important so that no tension accumulates in the body, which your dog then has to get rid of elsewhere.
You should build up the training in small steps. If your dog is familiar with the exercise, you can use it in acutely stressful situations. After each challenging situation, you should do the exercises back home in a quiet environment. You yourself give your dog a feeling of peace and security, so he will also be able to get involved faster.
Muscle building for old dogs
It is in the nature of aging that we become calmer, slower, frail and less mobile. This is also the case for our dog seniors. Targeted muscle building for seniors can help your dog to stay fit and vital for a long time even in old age. In the retired stage, the bones, joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles often no longer want to do as they could for a lifetime. That’s why it makes sense for you and your dog senior to seek professional support. A dog physiotherapist knows exactly what is important when building muscle for old dogs.
There are quite a few simple exercises that dog seniors can do well. This refers to isometric exercises as well as sensory mats, balance cushions or stretching and stretching exercises without aids. In order to execute them correctly and effectively, it is best to have them shown to you by the professional on site.
Nutrition & complementary food are important for muscle building
A species appropriate and balanced diet contributes significantly to the health of your four-legged friend. It’s never too late to provide your dog with all the vital nutrients. Special complementary food can additionally support muscle building.
The main ingredient in your dog’s diet is meat? Top!
A high protein diet is important for muscle building. Fish is also a good protein supplier and should not be missing in the bowl. An adequate supply of amino acids is essential for your dog to regenerate and build muscle. Carbohydrates and vitamins provide your dog with important energy. High quality fats, such as those contained in salmon, borage, hemp, flax and other oils for dogs, provide additional energy and strengthen the immune system.
If you are doing high-performance sports with your dog such as draft dog sports, tournament dog sports, agility or other dog sports, he needs special muscle building dog complementary food. To do this, it makes sense to take advantage of a dog nutrition consultation to put together the perfect mix for your dog.
Why is the strengthening of the hindquarters particularly important?
The muscle building in the dog in the hindquarters is so important because it initiates the beginning of all movements. The force is distributed over the back and the forehand catches the load. If the dog has no strength in the hindquarters, any movement is difficult for him. In old age, muscles are first broken down here, which is why it is also extremely important for your seniors to start building muscle in the hindquarters in good time.