Can Dogs Get Sore After Heavy Exercise?

 |  Jan 20th 2011  |   0 Contributions

My pal Buster loves the snow. Tahoe has plenty of the stuff thanks to some big early season storms. The powder is three feet deep. Buster was in heaven on our most recent trip.

The last day of the trip was by far his best. Or rather, the first half of the last day.

Buster's big day began when a friend took him out for a cross country ski trip. I don't know how far they went, but I do know that my friend sought out plenty of virgin snow -- the most challenging type of snow for a dog.

That day Denise and I bought snow shoes and decided to break them in. We had a very nice hike, and of course Buster came with us. Denise and I were worn out at the end of the hike, but Buster was still raring to go.

Although Buster is an extremely fit dog and he still had plenty of energy, that day he evidently used some muscles that don't see much action outside of snowy terrain. A few hours after our hike the poor guy was too sore to jump into the car for the ride home. And when we got home he sacked out for 16 hours. The next day he felt fine.

Dogs' muscles aren't very different from human muscles. If I exercise significantly more than (or differently from) my usual routine, I'll be pleasantly sore for a day. That, clearly, is what happened to Buster in the snow.

Remember when introducing your pet to a new environment that soreness is not the only risk. Believe it or not, we had been slowly increasing Buster's snow time for two weeks before his big day. Dogs that suddenly are introduced to long periods in the snow could suffer frostbite, hypothermia, and other serious problems. Enjoy the snow, but be careful.


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