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Dog Fitness Planning

There are a number of different exercises used in canine rehabilitation and fitness programs. To know which ones best suit your dog and how to conduct them you should make an appointment to see your physio. Book Now!

But how do you know if your dog needs a fitness program? And if they do what should you include?

All dogs can benefit from a fitness program. Below are a few examples of the exercises that can be included. Form a more in-depth look at what fitness exercises would suit your dog, download our Complete Canine Fitness Ebook here.

Sit and down to stands-

Sit to stand exercises encourage more movement of the hindlimb joints and improve core strength and hindlimb muscle mass.

These exercises should be done in a slow and controlled manner ensuring that the hindlimbs are doing the work and not the forelimbs.

To start with it is often useful to start with your dog sitting on a low step so they are not having to lower themselves as far initially reducing the work of the muscles.

As your dog progresses you can move onto down to stand exercises to also work the forelimbs.

Lead walking-

We often overlook the benefits of slow lead walking in our dogs, in favour of allowing our dogs to run off lead. Now our dogs may prefer off lead running but some time spent on the lead is invaluable in increasing weight bearing on each limb and increasing your dogs range of motion.

Lead walking also enables us to perform weaving, figure 8 and circle exercises to increase our dog’s spinal flexion and increase the stretch of the paraspinal muscles.

Check out our controlled exercise blog here to find out more about lead walking.

Pole work-

Just like in horse's pole work can be used in our dogs too to help increase their joint range of motion, muscle mass and strength and core activation.

Weight shifting-

Weight shifting exercises challenge your dog’s balance, increasing their awareness of where their limbs are placed and increasing their joint stability.

To find out more check out our weight shifting blog here.


Hydrotherapy in the form of swimming, underwater treadmill walking or simply a warm bath can help reduce any pain or tension in your dog’s muscles. Swimming nd and treadmill walking also improve your dog’s cardiovascular fitness and muscle mass.

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