Improve Your Sport, Protect Your Dog with Athletic Conditioning
For canine athletes, whether agility, fly ball, disc dog, earth dog, dock diving, sled dog racing or any other canine sport, rehabilitation techniques and equipment can improve your dog’s longevity and performance in its sport. Plus, it gives you new ways to train your dog to keep you both entertained and out of a training rut. Teaching your dog new ways to exercise expands the range of the muscles and nerves, which is vital to protection from injuries.
Helpful equipment for canine conditioning:
- Underwater treadmill
- Balance and wobble board
- Obstacle course
- Massage Cavaletti poles
There are 3 main goals in conditioning an canine dog athlete:
- Improving strength
- Improving endurance
- Preventing injury
Improving strength: All athletes need muscles. The better your dog’s muscles are honed to your sport, they better they will perform. Conditioning techniques can improve muscles specific to your sport. For example, an agility dog pushing a physioball focuses muscle work on the hamstring to improve its jumping strength. A fly ball dog working an obstacle course of multiple physioballs and disks alternating with firm surfaces works the muscles on the inside and outside of the legs creating better turns.
Improving endurance: Think of the marathon runner. To increase endurance she can run MORE miles OR she can make those miles harder. This allows her body to work more efficiently and endure more speed during the marathon. The underwater treadmill makes the “miles” harder for our sporting dogs. The water creates resistance. The incline creates resistance too. So a lure coursing dog that has been running the length of the course in the treadmill, now has more endurance for greater speed for that same distance on land.
Working to condition your dog with a rehabilitation specialist is like having a personal trainer for yourself. You know how to lift weights, but your trainer makes the work more efficient. You get bored with your routine, your trainer can suggest new exercises to help keep it interesting. And if you have an injury, your trainer can make sure you are exercising appropriately to protect the injury while maintaining endurance. Working with a veterinary rehabilitation specialist is like a personal trainer for your dog – you are still the coach for the big game but your rehab specialist is a valuable member of the team.
About Healing Arts Animal Care
Healing Arts Animal Care in Beaverton, Oregon provides veterinary acupuncture, pet rehabilitation therapy, physical therapy and athletic conditioning and Animal Massage Therapy for the dogs and cats of the Portland, Oregon Metro Area including Hillsboro, Lake Oswego, and Tualatin. We strive to create a team among you, your pet, your veterinarian and ourselves to create a whole package of care for your pet including wheelchairs for dogs. Pets come through our door knowing that we’re going to have fun here and this isn’t “another trip to the vet.” Through manual therapies, acupuncture, laser, ultrasound, underwater treadmill and creating a tailored individual home exercises, we strive to bring your injured pet back to speed, keep your elderly pet as an active member of the family, return your obese pet back to a functional friend and keep your athletic pet at the peak of his performance.