Stretching is another way to help reduce Risk of injuries. However, stretching, if done incorrectly, can cause more harm than good. A basic rule to keep in mind when stretching is: it should not cause your pet discomfort. For humans, if you are doing a yoga pose and someone comes along and puts all their weight on your back, you may not be able to stand for a few days. The same thing is true for your dog. Stretching should be done when the muscles are slightly warm, so take your pet for a short walk before you start your pre-competition stretching. Don’t forget to stretch after your competition as well.
Keeping the frame of a car straight and sturdy is extremely important for the integrity of the structure. The sam is true for the skeleton structure of the dog. If the suspension on your car is damaged, your car will be out of alignment, your tires will wear unevenly and damage the rest of the suspension components. If your dog’s spine is not moving normally –is fixated, rotated or subluxated -then your dog’s frame is not correct. This means that your dog cannot biomechanically move the way that it is made to move and may also lead to long-term damage. Chiropractic adjustments are another method to keep your dog preforming at their best and reduce abnormal stresses caused by subluxations. Most chiropractic subluxations occur without any obvious signs as the body, unlike a car, can compensate for irregularities. The compensations that are made by the body to continue moving when there are subluxations present can lead to injury or long-term problems such as arthritis. To ensure that your dog does not have any problems with their structural integrity before they compete, have them examined by a certified animal chiropractor.
Taking these steps to ensure that your canine athlete is at the top of their game are even more important than masterin the skills needed for the various canine competitive events. If they get injured, they will not be able to properly use the skills that took you and your canine athlete so many difficult hours to command. There is nothing worse than preventing a Dog from enjoying their favorite activities. For more information on how to properly do stretches, core exercises and how to preventing injuries to your dog seek the advice of your veterinarian, veterinary chiropractor, professional trainer and/or a canine rehabilitation therapist.
Originally published July 2014.