Flexibility in dogs is how their joints move, allowing them unrestricted movement to walk, run, swim, jump, and improve their range of motion.
Like people, dogs have different flexibility levels, meaning that some might be more flexible than others. Luckily, you can improve your dog’s flexibility through canine massage therapy.
Have you ever seen your dog stretch itself? While stretching may be a calming signal in dogs, it can also purely be that they want to stretch their muscles. It is an automatic way to improve their flexibility.
Unfortunately, most dogs, especially those who are stiffer, like older dogs, need a bit more help to become more flexible.
Why Flexibility in Dogs is Important
Flexibility in dogs is necessary because it allows them to have a more extensive range of motion, making each movement effortless. Not only does it help your dog run, swim, jump, etc., but it also prevents your dog from unnecessary injuries.
Flexibility helps strengthen your dog’s muscles and tendons (the part that connects the muscle to the bone). Stronger muscles and tendons mean they have less chance of swelling or tearing, therefore preventing muscle, joint, or tendon injuries in the future.
A dog’s flexibility starts in the spine, which is highly flexible and allows the legs and neck to be flexible as well. So, it becomes essential to start improving your dog’s flexibility from the spine and working your way down to the limbs.
How Flexible Should a Dog Be?
Your dog should be flexible enough to comfortably walk around the house and perform the physical exercises you perform, like going on hikes, swimming, or running. If your dog has trouble with these exercises, you need to improve its flexibility.
Some dog breeds are more flexible than others. These are typically the dogs bred to perform agility exercises or physical work like hunting, like terriers, spaniels, and shepherds.
Other dog breeds are not as flexible, like toy breeds, chihuahuas, and dachshunds. However, it doesn’t mean that these dogs can’t increase their flexibility.
Wapiti Labs describe how you can tell how flexible your dog is.
Signs Your Dog Needs Better Flexibility
Your dog needs help to improve its flexibility if they exhibit some of the following signs:
- Difficulty performing daily activities
- Stiff back, legs, or neck when performing daily activities
- Visible discomfort
- Change in behavior (less active than usual)
- Trouble climbing stairs or getting onto higher objects
Dog Massage for Increased Flexibility
“Massage helps increase flexibility by increasing tissue elasticity,” says Dogs in Motion- Canine Rehabilitation.
Your dog’s muscles are made from tiny woven muscle fibers that make up the bigger muscle itself. When you massage your dog’s muscles, it helps stretch and elongate those fibers, and your dog becomes more flexible because the muscles can withstand more strain than usual.
Therefore, massaging your dog with the Karypet Dog Massage gun will help improve flexibility and help prevent injury due to a lack of flexibility.
Regular massages will help your dog’s muscles, tendons, connective tissues, and ligaments. When you massage your dog’s muscles, you strengthen these parts and heal any injuries in the process, which increases their flexibility.