Pilates instructors understand the importance of core strength in humans. But did you know that it is just as important in dogs? And that just like with people, most dogs do not have a strong core? At Full Circle we advocate strong cores for all your family members, whether they run around Dartmouth on two legs, or four. (Or three if you are my cat named “Friend”)
A dog’s core muscles are the muscles surrounding the center of their body that help to stabilize their spine, and their entire trunk. They would include a dog’s abdominal muscles, but also their back muscles and all the muscles along their spine. Strong core muscles result in an animal having better stability and balance. When the core is strong it can also help prevent injury to all the legs.
Let’s think about this with an example. Your dog is running and tries to take a sharp turn. He starts to become a bit off balance. If his core muscles are strong and worked routinely, they will react quickly and contract to help stabilize his body. If they are weak then the body continues to falter and now the pet’s legs have to try to prevent a fall. Given that there are so many dogs these days damaging ligaments in their stifles (knees) – wouldn’t it be a good idea to start putting more effort into helping our dogs develop strong cores?
But a strong core does not just help a young, fast moving pet. Our senior pets benefit from having strong cores as well. Senior pets often have weaker limbs or arthritis in joints. The less strain we put on those limbs the better!!
Exercises like “sit pretty” and “diagonal 2 leg standing” can help improve a young dog’s core, but may be too difficult for senior
pets. For them exercises like gently rocking them back and forth to cause weight shifting, or having them stand and balance on a couch cushion can help work those same core muscles more gently.
We will be posting some videos on our Facebook page, and this website, with instruction on how to do some of these exercises. So keep checking in with us on Facebook and we will all grow stronger together!
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Our dynamic, passionate and dedicated customer care team wants you to experience inspired, integrated veterinary health care. Our broadly educated veterinarians, technologists and clerical support staff meld conventional veterinary medicine and surgery with diverse special interest fields including: nutrition (commercial and home prepared feeding plans), diagnostic ultrasound, acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine, canine rehabilitation, feline focused medicine and more. Take the first step and join us online at www.fullcirclevet.ca to learn more and to link to our Facebook page. In person, we serve clients locally from Halifax, Dartmouth, Bedford, Sackville and more distant visitors Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.