It’s said that dog owners are generally happier than people who do not have pets at home. This belief is actually rooted in scientific research. The journal Science has reported that loving contact between a dog and owner can release oxytocin, a hormone that reduces stress and increases relaxation and positive emotions. This said, one can also suggest that our dogs can help other health issues like our joint pain.
April is Canine Fitness Month, coinciding with the coming of Spring and warmer weather. As you consider your pet’s overall health, why not use this time to further bond by exercising together? Movement can help reduce joint pain by improving flexibility and lubrication between joints in the affected areas. Along with treatments recommended by your orthopaedic physician, the routine you set with your dog will benefit both of you in the long run.
Exercises you can enjoy with your dog include:
- Trail hiking
- Stretching and yoga poses
- Light cycling (with your dog on a leash)
When you go out with your dog to begin your workout, it’s important to remember a few precautions so you both enjoy yourselves without exacerbating any stiffness or discomfort. If your dog is especially active, choose a leash that won’t strain your shoulder or arm joints if they are your problem areas. When walking or jogging, look for soft surface paths that are easy on your feet and ankles as well as your pet’s. If you plan to be out for a lengthy period of time, bring water for both of you and stay hydrated.
+ Contact Bon Secours Virginia Orthopaedic and Spine Specialists.