The Healthy Way to Stretch Your Dog


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What’s It About?

Research on human athletes is changing what we know about stretching. For example, it is now recognized that aggressive stretching should only take place after muscles are warmed up and shortened from exertion. Authors Sasha and Ashley Foster have applied this latest research to dogs including competition dogs across the canine sports so that you can learn how to safely and effectively stretch your dog to prevent injuries, maintain joint integrity, and improve you dog’s fitness whether he is an elite canine athlete or a pet dog.

This book demonstrates how to safely and effectively stretch each major muscle group. It teaches correct hand placement for joint stabilization and how to maintain good form. Stretching routines are presented for both large and small dogs, older dogs, and those that are involved in a variety of dog sports.

2009 DWAA Maxwell Award Winner – Best Care and Health Book Category

About the Authors

Sasha is a physical therapist, yoga instructor, and writer whose passion is geriatric advocacy (in any species) . She and her dog, Quin, have provided Animal Assisted Therapy to geriatric rehabilitation populations throughout Colorado.

Ashley is a certified Pet Dog Trainer with 13 years of experience whose passion is reward based training and canine advocacy. She handles multiple breeds in conformation for AKC events throughout the United States while being an owner/handler for her own Dobermanns in conformation, obedience and rally.

Published 2009 Dogwise Publishing


“Stretching is an important part of human health, and dogs are not that far removed in their needs. “The Healthy Way to Stretch Your Dog: A Physical Therapy Approach” explains the importance of stretching for one’s dog, and how proper use of the technique can help dogs live a longer life. All dogs can benefit from this practice, whether they are active or sedentary, as it helps their joints and muscles no matter how much or how little they are used. “The Healthy Way to Stretch Your Dog” is a fine acquisition for those dedicated to the health and longevity of their canine friend.” James A. Cox

“With their combines experience in human physical therapy, yoga, zoology, and training and showing dogs, sisters Sasha and Ashley Foster are the ideal team to present a manual on stretching techniques for dogs. Despite recent interest in this topic, the Fosters realized that dog owners didn’t have much access to emerging information… Rather than simply informing readers that dogs can benefit from these routines, the authors explain how and why muscle tissue becomes vulnerable to injury when it remains in a shortened, contracted position. The authors have designed therapeutic canine stretching routines for each major muscle group. Noting that dogs vary in flexibility based on breed, age, and physical condition, they include detailed information on proper techniques to ensure safety and effectiveness, and variations of their daily routine for small breeds and senior dogs. Every dog can benefit from stretching exercises, but they are especially valuable for canine athletes… The material is somewhat technical, but the text is generously supplemented with drawings, photos, and diagrams explaining each exercise. In addition to its primary message about stretching, this book provides excellent overview of canine anatomy and biomechanics, making it an interesting resource for any dog owner.” Amy Fernandez

“A few years ago, I attended a canine massage seminar. I was impressed when I learned about the benefits of massage for your pet. As the owner of an active dog who participates in many performance sports, I have seen with my own eyes, the important role that holistic medicine such as chiropractics and massage can play in keeping canine athletes safe and in top working condition. This book takes canine massage a step further, looking at it from a physical therapy viewpoint. Where massage can be beneficial for relaxing muscles and joints and releasing stress, stretching your dog prior to activity, can lessen the wear and tear on muscles and joints and decrease the chances of strains or injuries. But don’t be fooled, this book is practical not only for canine athletes, but also for learning to stretch dogs who suffer from conditions such as hip dysphasia and arthritis to alleviate their discomfort. What makes this book a must have for pet owners is the detailed explanation of each exercise, coupled with photos demonstrating the correct way it should be performed. The book also illustrates canine anatomy and physiology and breaks the stretches down by muscle groups. Each section features helpful safety tips and answers to questions that the reader may have while doing the exercises. It is packed full of great information and the reader will no doubt consult it again and again.” Kelly Drake


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