High drive, athletic dogs who compete in sports such as flyball, agility, dock dogs and sledding are prone to injuries that can take them out of training and competition. But there are proactive ways to help reduce injuries in your sporting dog:
Regular muscular therapy will detect and treat imbalances before they become an issue. It is easier and better to treat a problem before it worsens.
2. Warm up and cool down before and after strenuous exercise.
A warm up helps increase blood flow to the working muscle. A warmed muscle improves elasticity and range of motion. Itenhances performance because it can now contract more strongly and relax faster. Start with a brisk walk and work up to a trot. You might also add a few sprints to engage more muscle fibres. To cool down, start with a slow trot and work your way down to a walk until their breathing returns to normal.
Remain hydrated before, during and after sport. Super-hydrating and mineral-rich coconut water is a good choice.
4. Protect paws
Protect paws with a product like mushers secret when your dog is working through rough bushland or on hot surfaces. Paw injuries is a commoncause of lameness. A tiny blister can cause the biggest, toughest dog to limp.
5. Protect vulnerable areas
Tape or strap vulnerable or previously injured joints and limbs. Talk to us about how to tape your dog with Rocktape equine tape
6. Avoid overcooking any form of exercise.
Conditioning or cross training exercises to work all the muscles will build a stronger athlete. When an unfit dog overdoes a single activity, it can injure. Repeated movement places a tremendous amount of stress on the joints, ligaments, muscles and tendons. It is important to give your dog the occasional break by mixing up the training. This gives the over-used muscles a chance to rest and the under-used a chance to strengthen and catch-up.
7. Watch for signs of weakness
Many high drive dogs will overexert yourselfbeyond their level of fitness. Study your dog and learn when their muscles are fatigued. A common sign of muscle fatigue is weakness. Weakness will cause the muscles to twitch or the dog will pace. Pushing those muscles will cause injury. When there is not enough strength to perform an activity, the muscles start compensating. Compensation will only work for so long before something breaks down, resulting in serious muscle strains, trigger points and tightness.
8. Increase the intensity of your training gradually.
So your dog has been out of training and you need to whip him back into shape? To prevent injuries, slowly increase the training intensity. If your dog has been a couch potato and is overweight, it is deconditioned. Diving straight into intense exercise is a recipe for disaster. The higher the intensity of training, the greater the need for rest days to give their bodies a chance to recover.