Research shows that human athletes benefit from warming up prior to workouts and competition. The same theory also applies to our dog athletes prior to exercise and training. A warm-up increases several physiological and metabolic factors. This means a good chance of a better performance and a reduction in the probability of injury.
1) Muscle and Body Temperature Increases: This makes the muscles more elastic. Muscles will contract with more force, and relax at a faster rate after a contraction. With warmer muscles, your dog’s strength and speed will be increased. A warmer body and muscle temperature will also lower the risk of a muscle pull or strain by increasing the glide of muscle fibers.
2) Increase in Heart and Respiratory Rates: This increases blood pressure so more oxygen and energy are delivered to the muscles.
3) Dilates Blood Vessels: Warming up causes the blood vessel to dilate which in turn reduces the stress that physical activity places on the heart, and increases blood flow throughout your dog’s body.
4) Increases Joint Temperature: This means your dog’s joints will be more capable of moving safely through their full range of motion.
5) Increases Nerve Impulse Speed: Nerve impulses move faster allowing for a quick response time and increased speed.
6) Increases Mental Focus and Connection: When performing a warm-up routine, you help your dog to focus and prepare mentally for the exercises or activity about to be performed. You establish your connection with the dog and allow your dog’s mind to remain positive, relaxed, and with an increased level of concentration.