Dogs are a huge responsibility. While they do help take care of us, by giving us love and affection as well as company, we also have to make sure that we do our part and take care of them. Aside from feeding them, bathing them, and taking them to the vet to get their checkups, we also have a lot of other responsibilities to our dog. There’s also making sure they get the appropriate exercise they need and getting their dog training to name a few other things.
One thing that might be overlooked in terms of dog care would be helping your dog stretch, especially if they are a senior dog. Senior dogs, much like humans, also need some extra care to make sure they’re healthy and continue to live as comfortable as possible. But, do the stretches have to be complicated and elaborate? Of course not. In fact, we have three that you can do that are easy to do.
For your dog’s front legs, shoulder stretches would definitely be something good for them. After all, your dog bears its weight on its four legs. So, it’s only right that you help them get some circulation in their legs and help keep them nice and limber.
To do these stretches, you first have to get your dog to stand. You then grab one of their front legs and bring them forward. When you start feeling some sort of resistance or tension as you’re bringing their leg forward, stop there, then hold that position for about 15 to 30 seconds. After that, slowly place your dog’s foot back down. Do the same on the other leg. You can do these stretches 2 to 3 times per leg.
After getting your dog to stretch their front legs, it’s time to help them stretch their back legs. Just like how you did the shoulder stretch, these stretches for their hip flexors will require that your dog stands up. Grab one of their hind legs, then slowly and carefully raise it backward. Don’t do it too fast as your dog might feel uncomfortable. The moment you feel some tension or resistance as you are raising your dog’s leg, stop and hold that position for 15 to 30 seconds. Put that leg down and repeat it on the other leg. Do this 2 to 3 times per leg.
These back stretches will help stretch your dog’s spine and help give it some mobility as well. This can help relieve any discomfort they feel in this area. To be able to do these stretches, you might need to have some treats with you.
Again, your dog will need to be standing. You can choose to stay behind them or to their side, but just make sure that they will be able to look behind them. Start by getting a treat and letting your dog catch a whiff of it. Once they know you have a treat, have them follow your hand.
Move it to either the right or left and have them turn their head, and only their head, around as far back as they can. Their body might form a crescent-like shape, and this is what you want. When they’re as far back as they can go, hold that position for 15 to 30 seconds, and then let them face front again. Do this for the other direction, and then do each side 2 to 3 times.
These are three simple stretches you can do with your senior dog. Not only will you be able to bond with them by doing so, but you’ll also be helping them keep the blood circulation in their limbs and help keep them as limber as they can be. As older dogs, they’ll be needing some extra care to help them stay healthy and live comfortably, and these stretches are perfect for doing just that.