Flexibility: Stretching Safely with Your Dog

As a canine rehab professional, I get a lot of questions about stretching dogs. Most people understand how important it is, but often don’t feel comfortable doing it because they feel they will hurt their dog, or don’t understand some basic principles. To help people incorporate more flexibility exercises at home we developed a full body Canine Stretching Poster and Demonstration Video for the K9FITbed.

To be clear, stretching is beneficial for dogs of any age, but there are limitations. Puppies and young dogs really don’t need to increase range of motion or decrease muscle tension. For them, it is more about becoming familiar with your touch to help them relax; and it’s an opportunity to increase your bond.

Simple gentle gliding of limbs and joints is all that needs to be addressed at this age. Starting early gives you a base line for understanding your dog’s body and his/her response to stretching. If in the future you discover a change in those same movements it can help reduce the risk of serious injury or bring attention to a more serious underlying condition.

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From: Flexibility: Stretching Safely with Your Dog