Looking to improve the performance of your sporting dog? If you want your dog to compete at a higher level, you might find it challenging to do so as you can’t exactly tell them what they need to do to improve. While it might be harder than training a person, there are still proven and highly effective ways to improve a dog’s athletic performance that could make a big difference and help you to achieve new levels of success while still helping the dog to lead a happy and healthy life. Keep reading for a few of the best steps to take to improve athletic performance.
Gradually Increase Exercise
As with humans, one of the most effective ways to improve performance is simply to gradually increase the amount of exercise that they do. Taking them for longer walks, getting them to run for longer, playing fetch, and swimming can all be great ways to build up your dog’s cardiovascular health and increase their stamina. In turn, this will improve their athletic performance and fitness. The key here is to do this gradually, to keep a close eye out for signs of injury, and allow them plenty of time to recover between exercise sessions.
Many activities that sporting dogs participate in will also require strength, but this can be hard to develop in dogs and you need to be very careful to avoid injury. One of the best ways to do this is to use a harness and encourage the dog to pull incrementally increasing weights, or you could allow them to pull you along.
Warm-Up & Cool Down
As a human athlete would before a sporting event, it is always a good idea to use some warm-up exercises before competing, both to prevent injuries and get the dog prepared. Similarly, cool-down activities are important and might include a light walk and a massage.
Provide The Right Nutrition
As you would expect, nutrition also plays a major role in a sporting dog’s performance and they will need a specialist diet in order to develop. Check out this Diamond Pet blog post about ancient grains for dogs and how these superfoods could help to deliver increased energy and performance. If you can provide them with the food they need, they will have the energy required of them.
Allow Time For Recovery
Following on from this, a key component in improving athletic performance (both for dogs and humans) is recovery time. Recovery time is when the body heals and recovers, so you need to make sure that your dog gets plenty of sleep and rest and that they are also able to enjoy this time. In addition to allowing them to sleep, you should also show them plenty of affection, play with them, take them to new places, and generally provide an enjoyable lifestyle.
Improving a sporting dog’s performance is challenging, but it is possible when you follow the above advice. It is also vital that you understand that it takes time to improve, that you need to do things very gradually, and always keep a close eye on them for any signs of injury or exhaustion.