The Guild of Shepherds & Collies

Easy Winter Warm-Ups to Avoid Injuries

winter warm-ups

Not all dogs love winter, but if you're owned by a herding breed, you know that they don't let cold days stop them from doing their jobs. But just because their thick double coats and hearty attitude keeps them romping in the snow when other dogs are ready to quit, the muscles of herding breeds are just as injury prone as any other breeds' if we don't take a few precautions. To keep your herding dog's body happy in frigid temperatures, follow these easy winter warm-ups for dogs to avoid injuries.

Winter Warm-Up Dog Exercises Before You Go Outside

Did your dog just give you the signal that it's time to go play in the cold? If so, this is your first cue to begin a short warm-up routine to warm up their inactive muscles, but don't reach for that ball just yet – ball chasing is not a warm-up. “This is actually very detrimental to cold muscles that have not been exercised and warmed up gently,” says Wendy Baltzer, DVM, PhD, DACVS. “It actually causes strain and sprain and can lead to long-term development of disc disease,” she explains in her video “Agility dogs: Harmful warm-up exercises.

Instead of beginning with explosive activity, canine fitness experts like Dr. Baltzer recommend kicking off with five to 15 minutes of gentle, slow warm-ups before the real romping begins. You'll need to consider your dog's age and fitness level before deciding on the right amount of time for your pup, but if you follow just six simple exercise recommendations, you'll be off to a great start.

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