Is your dog the runt of the litter? Are they scrawny? Are they super intimidated by big dogs as they walk by? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then it may be time for your dog to build some muscle! Just as it’s possible for skinny humans to pack on pounds and add lead muscle to their bony frames, even a rail-thin dog can evolve into an impressive physical specimen with a little work. We have compiled a list of tips of how your dog can start to gain muscle in no time.
- Nutrition is key. Your dog’s diet is the foundation to good physique. Always take the time to read the nutrition label on dog food. You may be surprised that it contains cheap ingredients such as corn and meat byproducts. Look for foods with whole meats and lots of protein. Remember that the ingredients are listed in order from highest amount to lowest amount, so the ingredients that are listed first are present in the highest percentages.
- Daily exercise is a plus. It is crucial that your dog gets at least 30 minutes of brisk walking per day – and preferably more. Always keep in mind that if you increase your dog’s diet without adding exercise to the mix, your dog is more likely to gain fat than muscle.
- Consider a weight vest. The next level of exercise is to incorporate a weight vest during walks. This will add extra resistance which will increase muscle-building into high gear. We recommend that you start with a lighter weight vest and work your way up! Remember, some resistance will stimulate muscle-building in your dog, but too much resistance can lead to overtraining and even cause injuries.
- Recovery! IMPORANT!!! Always remember exercise breaks muscles down. It’s during the recovery phase that your dog’s muscles repair, recover, and grow stronger. So be patient and safe. Increase your dog’s exercise gradually, and always make sure they are getting the nutrition and rest he needs to grow, grow, grow!