The 21st of June is International Day of Yoga, and we at THE PACK believe your ‘downward dog’ shouldn’t be done alone! Just how it feels good for us humans to stretch, our dogs enjoy it and reap benefits from it as well. Not only can stretching and regular massages preserve and improve your pooch’s mobility, but it can also prevent and alleviate joint pain, making your pooch feel like a puppy for much longer.
Benefits Of Doggie Stretches
Similar to humans, stretching your pooch brings them many benefits, including:
- Keeping their muscles flexible and supple. For active pups that love a good run, stretching before and after exercise is very important, as it can prevent injury and alleviate muscle tension. For large and giant breeds that tend to have more musculoskeletal issues than smaller pups, stretching will keep their muscles supple and help them as they age. For ageing pups that are prone to joint problems (arthritis), muscle loss and decreased flexibility, stretching them can help reduce these issues and the aches and pains that accompany them.
- Boosting circulation and oxygen in their blood, which speeds up the healing process.
- Creating feelings of calm and bonding between you and your pup. It is just as relaxing for you as it is for your pup to watch them unwind and get the attention and spa treatment they deserve!
Wag-nificent Stretches And Massages For Your Pooch
Before you start stretching your pup, it’s super important to make sure you’re doing it right (otherwise, you’ll be doing more harm than good!). Check out these helpful videos online from rehabilitation therapists that provide visual explanations of how to properly stretch and massage your pooch and which areas to focus on:
🐕 How to Stretch Your Dog by Union Lake Veterinary Hospital
🐕 How to Stretch your Dog’s Shoulder & Hips by Upward Dog Rehab
🐕 Canine Physiotherapy: How to stretch your dog’s hips by Gatehouse Vet Rehab
🐕 Massaging Your Dog by Teacher’s Pet with Victoria Stilwell
🐕 How to Give Your Dog a Relaxation Massage by Canine Pain Relief
In summary, it’s important to focus on stretching your dog’s back, shoulders and hips and to do it slowly and gently, especially in the beginning when they’re thinking What the heck are you doing, before they realise it’s feeling amazing! When it comes to a massage, make sure you’re doing it with purpose, applying light pressure with a flat palm and trying techniques like stoking and kneading. Your pup’s tension is going to melt away (and yours will too)!
How To Include Your Doggo In Your Wellness Routine
Now that you know the benefits of stretching and massaging your pooch, you’re probably eager to get them on a wellness journey with you—which is super easy to incorporate in your already structured day. If you’re already going on daily walks with your pooch, adding in a couple minutes of stretching before will give you both a spring in your step. After your walks, don’t forget to stretch while your muscles are still warm and easier to move; this will help you both recover after that exercise. Already went on your walks for the day? Check out these videos below on how to do yoga at home with your dog (aka ‘doga’):
🐶 Yoga With Your Dog playlist by The Pet Collective Cares
🐶 Dog Yoga Class: DOGA by AnimalWised
When you’re stretching and massaging your pooch or doing a bit of doga, always be sure to keep the following in mind:
We hope you enjoy this International Day of Yoga with your pooch and continue to stretch together, bond over massages and practice doga throughout the year (just don’t get too upset when they do a better downward dog than you)!
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