Time to continue on our new Doga journey! Make sure you have read the first blog post to get up to a zen speed.
Last doga post sesh we discussed the benefits of relaxation for both you and your pup. This post is going to discuss the stretching part of doga and how it can help your pup in so many different ways.
You may have noticed that your pup already has a natural ability to stretch. While it just feels good to them, they are also helping their flexibility and range of motion skills. Penny the Chiweenie (her dog diaries are here) has started to implement some stretching and doga in her ACL surgery recovery effort. She actually enjoys it from all the attention she gets! And Penny is the first to tell you if she isn’t feelin’ something. In addition to the attention, she is also rebuilding her strength and relieving her muscle tension one stretch at a time.
Make sure you are practicing doga caution and awareness, always! (In addition to consulting your vet) make sure you are listening to your dog and can immediately recognize any signs of discomfort. Follow their lead! Practice doga in a stress-free and quiet environment with your pup as well.
Working on your pup’s hip flexors is important for their movement when walking or jogging. It can also help relieve any arthritic pain they may have. To stretch their hip flexors, first have your dog stand and then hold onto one of their back legs above their knee. Being super gentle and careful, extend the leg straight out behind their body to a point of any resistance. Hold this pose with each leg for initially 15 seconds and 2 sets, and work your way up to about 30 seconds and 3 sets over the upcoming weeks.
Back It Up Pose
Stretching out your dog’s back may just become one of their favorite things to do with you. First, grab a couple small training treats. With your dog facing forward, go sit on one side of them but make sure the treat is still in the front by their nose with your hand.
Move the treat slowly towards their tail and make sure they are only using their head to follow the treat. Once they are in a “C” position, hold that position with them for the 15 seconds (2 sets) initially, and then do the same stretch with the opposite side side.
Proud Doga Stretch
This stretch is awesome to do when you have your dog lying on his or her back.
Take their front legs and very gently open them to the side. Make sure you are holding the dogs leg near their wrists. The wrist is the lower joint below their elbow. Hold this pose for about 10-15 seconds, and then repeat.
Practicing these doga stretches with your pup is not just going to help their muscle support and flexibility. This can also boost their circulation, increases oxygenation, calms them, and enhances your BFF bond.
And don’t forget their belly rub at the end!
Doga: Yoga For Dogs – “Many of the movements and positions of doga can inspire and assist humans in their own yoga practice. Doga presents the major asanas or postures, from the Downward-Facing Dog to the relaxing Happy Puppy and restorative Pup’s Pose. Each stretch is demonstrated by one of the dogis, with accompanying text to help people adapt positions to their own practice.”
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