Swimming is a wonderful non weight bearing activity for all dogs who enjoy the water. 10 minutes of continuous swimming is great for a cardiovascular workout to build endurance. Swimming also strengthens core and limb muscles as well as increases flexibility in the joints.
A few thoughts on safety however:
Sooo…go have some fun!
Massage is a great way to relieve or prevent soreness after a day of heavy exercise/activity or competition….OR….to just connect with your dog.
Find a quiet place where both you and your dog are in a comfortable position. A small dog can be placed on a bed, a large dog on a comforter or pad on the floor.
Benefits of massage:
Relaxation and Decrease Stress (endorphin release, decrease blood pressure)
Increase circulation and blood flow
Increase nutrients and decrease waste products (lactic acid) to muscles
Increase soft tissues ability to stretch
Develop a bond between you and your dog
Pick up on lumps/heat/swelling/pain, that may be present
Contraindications to Massage:
Open wounds/ new incisions
Lameness/ Acute injury
Poor appetite and lethargy
Infections/ tumors/ fractures/ burns/ frostbite
Use light to moderate contact touch, hands relaxed, never pinch or grip
Move slowly and evenly
Always maintaining one hand in contact with your dog
Always move in the same direction of the coat
Do not massage over spinous processes or bony prominences
There are many resources available on massage techniques, and it is often a good idea to follow a massage with gentle stretching.
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