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How Your Dog’s Muscles Support Their Overall Health

Because dogs are so highly mobile, they make full use of all their different muscle groups. When they run, their chest and hind muscles do most of the work to propel them forward. For a game of fetch, shoulder and neck muscles come into play to make those lightning-quick turns. It’s no wonder that they get injured, just like athletes do.

Aside from breed-specific muscular problems, the most common ailment active dogs experience is a torn tendon. Much like a torn Achilles in humans, this is the result of a misplacement of weight, a fall or overexertion.

Different dogs have different pain tolerances. And they are masters at hiding their aches and pains. Limping, crying, and sensitivity to touch are clear signs that something’s not right. But if your normally spirited friend is just less enthusiastic about playtime, is that something to be worried about?


  • The rule of thumb is to be alert to changes in your dog’s routine. Does your dog:
  • Stretch partially or not at all, or seem to be stretching all the time?
  • Flinch and quickly turn to look back behind itself?
  • Lick, chew, or bite a part of itself excessively?
  • Measure its gait before jumping?
  • Try to take the short route on a walk it normally enjoys?
  • Wag its tail equally on both sides?
  • Lift its head in abnormal manner?
  • Stand with hindlegs tucked under, or back arched?
  • Struggles to be comfortable when lying down?
  • Appear unusually restless, changing from one position to another?
  • React suddenly when touched, petted, or being brushed?

If you answered yes to any of these, talk to your vet about possible underlying causes.

Now, for the good stuff – helping our furry friends keep their muscles in tip-top shape!

Keep Them Moving
The best kinds of exercise? Swimming tops the list, a low-impact workout that uses the largest range of major muscle groups during exercise. Next: long walks. These actively engage chest, shoulder, and leg muscles. Exploring new places or alternating routes also keeps things interesting for doggy brains. Finally: running. A little goes a long way, since running engages fewer muscle groups and creates greater force on muscles and joints.

Make exercise part of a daily routine. If not a swim or walk, then some kind of play such as fetch or tug-of-war that encourages your dog to move.

Feed Them Well
We all love to spoil our furry friends with treats. Just don’t overdo it. Extra weight places excessive stress on muscles and joints. Instead, consider healthy treats made with fruits and vegetables, and free from corn, wheat, soy or artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. Black Gold Dog Supplement Chews fit the bill with three formulations that boost your adventurous pal’s mobility, maintain healthy skin and shiny coats, and optimize natural immune defense. These tasty beef-, turkey-, and salmon-flavored treats will have your furry friend begging for more!

Most dogs thrive on a high-quality, animal-based protein diet. If your pup is pudgy, supplements such as L-carnitine may help increase metabolism and burn fat while maintaining muscle mass. Vitamin E and selenium are synergistic supplements thought to clean up damaged muscle tissue in active dogs.

Ask your vet about the most suitable diet and supplements for your dog’s breed, age, and activity level. And ensure your pup stays hydrated – water is like magic for those muscles.

Love Them Lots
Muscles don’t always have to be in motion to be healthy. Professional massage by a therapist who understands canine anatomy can help identify tight spots and maintain overall flexibility. Modalities such as chiropractic or acupuncture can encourage circulation and boost immune systems — all beneficial to overall muscle health. And don’t forget your special brand of TLC. A caring belly rub is always a comfort, and your dog will love you for spending time with them.

In the grand adventure of life with our four-legged companions, their health is paramount. Let’s cherish the incredible muscles that make every precious moment possible.