Preventing injury in sporting dogs – Veterinary Medicine
I found this article on preventing sporting dog injuries by Wendy Baltzer, DVM, PhD, DACVS on DVM360 to be very informative. You can read the full piece here: Preventing injury in sporting dogs – Veterinary Medicine
The author discusses several components that make up a well rounded program of training and injury prevention for sporting dogs. They sound very similar to what a human athlete would consider when training for sport and include:
- Specificity of Sport- different sports require different levels of skill, strength, endurance, etc and training and injury prevention protocols must take this into account.
- Conditioning and Training- a good program will always start out to build a base of fitness so that the participant can physically handle the work. Further, depending on the specific sport of choice, a program should include a multifaceted approach to conditioning including strength, endurance, balance, and skill.
- Nutrition- the correct amount of calories and macro nutrients (protein, fat, carbs) as well as vitamins and minerals through supplements can help the participant recover and adapt to the workloads. Hydration strategies are important as well
- Pre- and Post-Workout Training- well thought out programs include a warm up and cool down phase. Stretching and icing can help with recovery although I don’t recommend using a bag of frozen peas to ice. Your dog might eat them (if they are anything like my Labs!).
As an athlete, this all sounds pretty familiar to me. I notice that I am less likely to sustain an injury when my routines contain a balance of specificity, nutrition, and pre-and post- training protocols. Prevent injuries to your athlete dog by applying the same common sense.
Do you have any recovery tips that you use when your dog is very active? Special supplements? Treatments (e.g. acupuncture)? Let us know in the comments.