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The Canine Athlete

Post Exercise Recovery

By Erica Boling, PhD

When you have a working dog that performs a physically demanding job, it’s obvious that good health and fitness are important. It’s not unusual that we spend the majority of our time focusing on training so that we can best prepare our dogs for their jobs. Meeting our dogs’ nutritional needs is also extremely important, and recently more people are realizing the significance of properly warming up their dogs prior to performing physically demanding activities. One crucial aspect of canine fitness that is frequently overlooked, however, is post-exercise recovery.

Paying close attention to what we do with our dogs after exercise is essential if we want to best prepare them for the physical and mental demands of their jobs. What we do after exercise can determine how quickly our dogs recover from strenuous work and are ready to return to a high level of performance. Exercise recovery should include replenishing the fluids and energy stores that were lost during training or work and giving our dogs’ bodies time for rest and repair.

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