When looking to increase a dogs stamina, strength and performance there are many factors to consider. But first of all, what do we mean by stamina? This is the physical and mental energy and strength that an active dog needs to fulfil all that is required of them. Certain dogs, especially those that physically work or participate in sports such as dog agility or Canicross etc. need to be in peak physical condition. This enables the dog to cope with demanding activities for prolonged amounts of time without mentally or physically fatiguing. But how can you ensure that your dog achieves this optimum condition and what can you do to assist them?
Regular Exercise and the Right Diet
As well as aerobic and strength training, it is imperative that a dog gets the right diet. Just like humans need the correct fuel to perform at their best, so too do dogs. While we strive to fill our bodies with healthy nutrition to make us the fittest and healthiest we can be, we must treat our dogs with the same consideration. You wouldn’t fill the tank of a high-performance car with a low-grade fuel and expect it to run at capacity. So, by the same token, we need to ensure that we feed all the correct and necessary nutrients in to our dogs to get the maximum output.
Exercise to Increase Dogs’ Stamina Strength and Performance
Just as an athlete will train for an event, so too must a dog. You should look to increase a dogs stamina, strength and performance gradually and get their cardiovascular and aerobic threshold at the right level to then be able to expect them to perform at their peak. Spending an hour a day exercising your dog and stimulating them with games which require physical effort is a great way to achieve this. Be mindful that it is important to focus the training so that they are getting both aerobic and strength training to ensure that they build these elements combined. The canine capability for such fitness can vary significantly between different breeds, but is closely linked to how effectively they can build lean muscle. If you’re considering undertaking stamina training with your dog, it is worth considering what your breed’s natural strengths are, and consult with your vet to establish what its inherent base capabilities are likely to be. For example, a Malinois Belgian Shepherd Dog, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, or Border Collie are all likely to be far more enthusiastic about the prospect of rigorous exercise than an English Bulldog!
Similarly to humans, dogs need stamina to tackle longer periods of physical activity such as running, jumping and other aerobic exercises. These disciplines should be regularly practised so that your dog can develop and improve their stamina. Fast daily walks and intense games of ball and frisbee are basic aerobic exercises, but most dogs are unable to successfully complete this training unless their base level of cardiovascular fitness is good. The best way to develop this is through longer walks, jogs, and runs, as well as utilising a treadmill (although not all dogs may be happy to use one). It is important to monitor your dogs activities and responses to them to prevent muscle pains and injuries. By way of example, a low-impact way of developing stamina is taking your dog for slow, but long walks on uneven surfaces. High-impact activities such as running, especially when conducted on hard surfaces, will likely undermine your efforts to build and develop your dogs stamina. To this end, we advise against allowing your dog to either run excessively, or use high jump equipment until it has reached full physical maturity.
Building a Dog’s Strength and Muscle Definition
As well as endurance, strength is also key. If you want to increase a dogs stamina, strength and performance then you are going to need to add some focus into this style of training too. Specific strength training may include pulling weights which is likely to build lean muscle tone, muscle mass, and ultimately improve strength, stamina and power as well. If you wish to do this, fit your dog with an appropriate harness, and incentivise it to pull incrementally increasing loads of weight. It is very important that you start with initially low amounts of weight, and do not overload the dog, as this is likely to lead to injury. Don’t try and rush the training process. Consistency and persistence will be required for both yourself and your dog. Rushing it is likely to cause injuries, and negative associations for your dog.
Supplementing Their Diet
We have already mentioned nutrition and how what you put into your dog will determine what level you get out. The importance of nutrition cannot be underestimated. If you are looking to increase a dogs stamina, strength and performance, nutrition and using dog supplements is a critical factor. Make sure your dog is getting the very best from their diet. As well as considering a biologically appropriate, nutrient loaded (BARF) diet, you can also look at supplementing this for extra effect. A sport specific, natural, organic supplement with premium ingredients will further aid your dog by giving them a boost of the nutrients required for them to achieve ultimate health, build lean muscle mass and therefore deliver peak performance.
The Key Ingredients of a Supplement
A premium, human grade protein source is key. Organic hydrolysed soya isolate is a natural plant based protein that will help to build lean muscle mass while assisting the repair of muscle tissue that sustains damage during high energy exercise. This type of protein is also kind to a dogs digestion meaning its super effective when added alongside food. In addition to this, a superior blend of high strength performance enhancing vitamins and minerals means that the dog is getting everything they require to eliminate any nutritional deficits in their diet and ensure they can perform at full potential. The benefit of an all-natural supplement is that there are no nasties, nothing that will be detrimental to the dog and no unwanted side effects. You can do no harm by supplementing their diet with these key ingredients found in nature.
If you are looking for all-natural nutritional canine performance supplements that deliver and have absolutely no additives or preservatives then ProDog’s Maximus is an excellent choice for all dog owners but particularly those with working or active dogs. For more information about how Maximus fortifies your dogs power, vitality, energy and recovery, get in touch.