How does swimming benefit my dog?
Canine sports like IPO, IGA, and dock diving are becoming more popular than ever. Work life, home life, and weather can influence our ability to keep our canine athletes in peak condition for their sport. According to Dr Arleigh Reynolds, a Veterinary Surgeon & Canine Physiologist, 1 minute of swimming is roughly equivalent to 4 minutes of running! However, swimming doesn’t just benefit our high drive working lines. Our lovable, cuddly, and sometimes overweight pet dogs can also maximize the benefits from swimming. Some of benefits from swimming are:
- Increases muscle strength & tone helping to protect against injuries sustained during normal exercise
- Improves flexibility & stamina
- Increases cardio-vascular circulation & improves respiratory function
- Easy exercise on the joints helping build weak muscles & improve endurance
- Overweight dogs exercise longer with zero weight on joints
- Helps competitive dogs maintain optimum conditioning
- Excellent exercise after surgery or injuries
- Releases pent up energy during inclement weather
- Strengthens the bond between handler and dog
- Warm water can allow the dogs muscles to relax and stretch.
- Swimming is a great way to exercise dogs with arthritis and allow the joints to move without the stress of bearing weight.
- Overweight animals are able to burn calories, exercise muscles, and gain cardiovascular fitness without stressing their joints.
- The resistance of water makes your dog work harder to swim than he has to work on land to walk or run. He will show improved muscular strength and tone, while working the cardio-vascular and respiratory systems, without the impact of concussive exercise on land and the associated damage that it may cause.
- Hydrotherapy is wonderful for dogs suffering from Degenerative Joint Disease (also called Arthritis or Osteoarthritis). Many of these older dogs are senior citizens, and may have lost muscle strength because of lack of exercise. Their joints are painful, so they don’t even walk as much, and then they begin to gain weight. Once these older dogs are evaluated and started on pain control and joint supplements, the first step to regaining their health is getting those dogs in the pool. After several months, improvement is often obvious, and the pain medication can be decreased if not stopped completely.
- Load on joints and bones is decreased while in the water, even weakened muscles can be exercised without the burden of holding up the weight. – another reason that dogs in pools don’t have to be strong to exercise and lose weight.
- Rehabilitation for dogs with broken bones often includes rebuilding strength after broken bones have been repaired. Allowing the dog to work the healing leg in the water without pounding on hard surfaces is the ideal solution to helping fractures heal.
Ridgeside K9 now Aquatic Center is now available. Click here to learn more about our swimming pool center for your dog.
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