A border Collie chasing after a ball.

6 Tips for Healthy Dog Muscles

Prevention is key for healthy dog muscles:

After the cold and dark winter days we are all ready for sunshine and adventure. But before we jump right into long hikes, swimming, bike rides and other fun activities, let’s make sure that our dog’s muscles are in good shape and that we re-introduce more strenuous activities gradually. The health of our dog’s muscles is important so that we prevent soreness, excessive wear and tear and potential injuries.

So what can we do to make sure that our dogs are well prepared for the fun activities ahead?

A border Collie chasing after a ball.

1) Assess current muscle health

Use the Dog Body Map to assess their current muscle health. This will give you an idea of their baseline and if there are any areas that might require extra attention. Continue with the body map assessment at least every couple of weeks throughout spring, summer and fall.

2) Introduce activity slowly

Introduce activities gradually. The rule of thumb is that your dog should be able to repeat the same level of activity the next day. If the next day they are stiff, sore or reluctant to work, it means you’ve done too much and you need to scale back the activity and build up more gradually. Keep a log to track their activity levels.

3) Try supplements

While preparing your dog for the busier months, try a muscle supplement that will help your dog’s muscle health. My personal favourite is MYOS, which you can find here

4) Be pro-active

Be pro-active and take care of your dog’s muscle health throughout the year with these easy steps:

  • healthy diet is the foundation for healthy muscles
  • hydrate! Some dogs don’t drink enough on their own, supplement with bone broth added to meals
  • while exercising don’t forget about warm ups and cool downs
  • make sure that their activities are varied, consistent, breed and age appropriate
  • avoid high impact and repetitive activities

5) Rest!

Remember our dogs need plenty of rest to ensure both physical, mental and emotional well-being. Dogs sleep an average of 12 to 16 hours a day, and need structured down time for optimal health.

6) Bodywork

Don’t forget to keep up with regular massages either at home or with a professional. You can find massage videos on my YouTube channel.