When people say dogs are man's best friend, they don't only mean in terms of providing protection. Dogs make perfect companions for almost any human. And this companionship most often involves fun time outdoors, playing games, and taking part in sports. While different dog breeds have varying requirements for physical activity, most dogs need some form of exercise through playtime and sports. Big dogs like Labrador Retrievers especially need lots of exercise and physical activity. In such cases, dog sports are the best way to help vent out any excess energy and remain active. Not doing so can lead to several obesity-related health issues like heart conditions. However, there are certain health issues associated with dog sports as well. Your dog might get joint pains or body aches after a strenuous day of exercise. You need to ensure your furry friend is in perfect shape for the next round, and certain dog treats can help with this recovery process. Keep reading for how you can help your dog participate in more dog sports and ways to accelerate recovery. Best Dog Sports to Try Out Agility Agility is one of the most famous canine sports in the world. It involves a pathway with certain obstacles placed throughout. The obstacles can be things like running through a tunnel, jumping over bumps, and navigating other such barriers that the dog has to overcome in the sequence. While some dogs are considered more suitable for agility sports, such as Australian Shepherd and Border Collies, the truth is that any dog that has high energy levels and great stamina can participate in this sport. Agility mainly works on the verbal commands of the trainer. The trainer may or may not be the dog's owner, but their body language should be commanding as this sport relies on obedience. How to help your dog participate? If you want to get started with dog agility training at home, you should start by working on yourself as a trainer. Your body language and tone should be firm and commanding, yet understand canine dog language. It would be best if you also worked on training your dog to become more obedient to your commands and voice before moving to real obstacles. You may have to take advantage of treats in this step to encourage obedience and positive behavior. But know that treats won't be allowed in agility sports competitions, so use them wisely. As a novice pet owner, dog agility training for beginners can be difficult. If you are unable to train your dog, get your pet into a class or hire a professional trainer. You can learn dog agility commands from a professional trainer. After mastering the obedience and training part, it'll be time to practice with obstacles at home. How to help him recover? During agility sports, the most common injuries endured by dogs include sprained ankles, contusions, and strain on muscles. The most dangerous part is where they have to jump over obstacles, as it can result in the dog landing harshly and getting injured. If your dog has been participating in agility sports, he will need lots of rest to help him recover. Dogs in agility training need quick mobility and cognition skills. They also need lots of protein and omega-3 fatty acids to help maintain their strength and energy levels. Chunky sardines and wild sardines are two of the best treats to give your dog to help him recover from agility sports impact. These single-ingredient treats have plenty of omega-3 and protein to help improve your dog's mobility, retinol function, DHA, cognition, and immune system. Canicross Training Canicross is simply cross-country running with the dog and trainer attached together. The trainer wears a special waist belt, and the dog has a special harness. They are connected utilizing a bungee cord or elastic line. Sometimes the handler runs with two dogs attached to him simultaneously. The team that covers the most distance wins. Huskies and Malamutes are popular dogs for this sport, but in reality, any dog with the right temperament can participate. How to help your dog participate? For canicross training, start obedience training and help your dog get comfortable on a leash. You can take it slow by walking first and gradually increasing the speed to running on a leash. These are pretty much the only requirements for canicross. How to help him recover? Excessive running and wearing a leash strain the leg muscles and stress the shoulders. To help your dog recover, use healthy single-ingredient chews like the whole quail, rich in nutrients and muscle development properties. Other treats you can give include sardines, duck neck and head, wild fries, and Head On Shrimp. These have proteins and collagen-producing properties that maintain the dog's bones and muscle strength. Dock Jumping Dock jumping, more popularly known as Dock Diving, is one of the recent dog sports that have gained tremendous traction. However, it is better suited for dogs that do well in water, such as Labrador Retrievers. The reason is that this sport involves throwing a toy in the water at a faraway distance to encourage the dog to jump in and retrieve it—the dog covering the most distance while jumping gets the winner's trophy. Dock jumping is best for dog breeds that can swim, are agile, full of energy, and can jump. How to help your dog participate? The canine sports training for dock jumping revolves around making your dog comfortable with jumping into the water. If you have a pool at home or a shore nearby, you can take your dog over there to practice. Bring your pet to the edge of the water to allow him to start with small jumps. Throw a favorite toy into the water and encourage him to jump. To practice longer jumps, gradually increase the distance between your dog and the water's edge. How to help him recover? Dock jumping can be tough on the dog's muscles, bones, and joints as it requires that the dog come running from a distance and jump to cover another significant distance. This can strain the joints, bones, and muscles. To help your dog recover, make sure they rest well and get enough sleep. Then, add Sardines to their diet as a treat, giving them enough protein and omega-3 to maintain their muscle and bone strength. Head On Shrimp is another great treat to add to your dog's diet for an active lifestyle. This is because it has low-fat and high nutrient content, keeping your dog's joints in top shape. Flyball Flyball is another favored pastime for dogs. This sport is played on a team of four dogs. Each dog has to run through a course, complete it, get a tennis ball attached to a spring in a box, and return to the handler.
As the first dog completes the course, the other dogs are released one by one. The great thing about this sport is that almost all dogs can participate. All you need is for the dog to have enough height to be able to touch the spring box and get the ball. How to help your dog participate? Flyball makes for a great team sport and provides a chance for your pet to socialize as it plays. To encourage your dog to participate in this:
Play fetch the ball with him.
Throw a ball, training him to fetch and run without dropping the ball.
Make practice easier with treats at the end of each session.
How to help him recover? Flyball can stress the shoulders, back, and wrists as the dog continuously tries to hit the box, snatch the ball, and run. As a result, some dogs might get concussions due to hitting the release box, while others may injure their shoulder girdle and wrist bones. You can help your dog recover by giving him food with lots of protein, alongside rest and care. Supplement with any treat rich in nutrients and proteins, such as Sardines, Wild Skin Fries, and Head On Shrimp. If your dog is a picky eater, try giving him the duck necks. They have all the essential nutrients and help boost the pet's immune system while simultaneously easing anxiety. We hope this guide helps you figure out your dog's health after a stressful sport and take steps to enable them to heal! Have more tips on helping everyone's favorite furry pets participate and recover from sports? Share with your fellow dog enthusiasts!