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Why Core Strength Matters for Tripawd Dogs

When you join the Tripawds Nation you’ll hear the phrase “Core Muscles” mentioned a lot. It’s an important concept all new Tripawd parents need to know about. We encourage core strengthening through fun FitPAWS™ gear like the Balance Disc.

Tripawd fitness fun on the Balance Disc

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Tripawd Barret shows off his six pack!

We’re not canine rehab practitioners so we always turn to the experts. Today we’re sharing what world-famous canine rehab practitioner Debbie Gross of Wizard of Paws has to say about core strengthening and Tripawds.

Dr. Gross really knows her stuff. She’s  been involved in the field of animal physical rehabilitation for over seventeen years and literally wrote the book on canine rehabilitation therapy as one of the founders of the Certificate Program in Canine rehabilitation from the University of Tennessee.

You can feed a daily meal portion during a workout.

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Wyatt thinks he’s just getting a treat.

With her permission, here is an excerpt from her 2015 Fenzi Dog Sports Academy course that she led: “Conditioning and Concerns for the Tripod Dog.

Why Core Strength in Tripawds Matters

Written by Debbie Gross, DPT, MSPT, Diplomat ABPTS, CCRP. Used by permission.

Core Strength is important in EVERY dog — whether involved in sport or not. The tripod dog needs core strength even more due to the compensations they must make for a missing limb.

The muscles involved in the core strength help support the body or frame. And while they are not all core muscles, many of the postural muscles assist in the foundation and core of the body.

There are two types of muscle fibers in everyone’s body: the slow twitch and fast twitch, or Type 1 and Type 2 respectively. The postural muscles are mainly comprised of slow twitch fibers or Type 1 muscle fibers. This basically means they are responsible for maintaining posture.

Examples of core muscles in people include our lower back muscles, our abdominals, our calves and our chest. There are many more but I use these four as examples because we have probably all been effected by week or fatigued core muscles at some point.

A prime example of problems with our postural muscles include lower back pain and the correlation to weak back and abdominal muscles. Very often we are not kind to our backs with all of the sitting, driving and lifting without proper body mechanics that we do.

Once back pain starts, your lower back muscles and abdominals stop working properly and they weaken as a result. This weakening leads to more problems. The goal is to decrease the pain, and then strengthen your core to establish an improvement.

Long walks on hard surfaces, such as in a mall or at a fair, can cause you to be sore all over. This is partly due to your postural muscles fatiguing and causing discomfort.

Core exercises and foundation work will be the key to every activity you do with your tripod!

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Yes, even small dogs need core muscles.

Get Fit with Your Tripawd

Check out these fun ways to have fun and get your Tripawd fit. Remember, always check with a rehab practitioner (and if there isn’t one near you, Dr. Gross does long-distance phone consults!) before starting any exercise program.

Tripawds, fitness, exercise, dog

FitPAWS Disc Strengthens Canine Core Muscles

Try the K9FITBone for Balanced Fitness Fun

For Advanced Fun: Peanuts Help Dogs Strengthen Core Muscles

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