Is It Healthy for Dogs to Build Muscles?

by Farmer Jack
Updated on

When we talk about muscle building in dogs, most of us only think about working and athletic dogs as they need the strength for better performance and endurance. However, all dogs would benefit from strength-building exercises, including those recovering from injury or suffering from spine-related problems.

Canines with well-developed muscles or ligaments tend to have lower chances of getting injured and are also more comfortable in their older years.

In this article, we shall give you a few pointers on how you can help your canine bulk up and some of the factors you need to keep in mind as you guide your pet through the muscle-building process.

Have a read.

Factors to Consider as you Strength-Train Your Dog

If you want your dog’s strength training to go smoothly without having any unintended effects on your dogs, there are several things that you need to keep in mind.

I) Mind the Paws

The first thing you need to know is that strength training may be a bit intense for the canine’s paws, and that is why it is vital that you provide proper support around them. Further, you should ensure that you do not conduct the training on concrete since this surface puts excessive force on the paws and may lead to weaker joints in future.

Then, after every session, ensure you assess the paws for cuts and bruises and if there are any, treat them with iodine water in good time.

And if you notice the canine licking the paws more than usual, there could be a fracture that makes him uncomfortable.

II) The Nutrition

Next up is nutrition, whereby your canine will require some extra nutrients for building their bone and muscle strength. In this case, you will have to feed the dog a formula with a high protein, fat, and calcium content.

You may add a spoonful of coconut or olive oil to the formula to provide the required amounts of fat.

III) Different Body Requirements

Another thing you need to know is that not all dog breeds are equipped for muscle building, and it may be a while before your canine gets that toned body that you have been looking for. At times, there may be no change at all.

IV) Be Wary of Protein Supplements

It would be wise of you to avoid giving your canine any supplements since there isn’t much information on these products such that no one knows the full extent of the benefits and side effects they bring.

Therefore, to be on the safe side, do not give them to your canine.

Dog Exercises for Building Muscles

Let’s look at some of the exercises that you can allow your canine to try out with the aim of bulking up at the end of it all.

Weighted Vests

These are units that are designed to increase the resistance that your canine feels as he moves around. In most cases, the vests allow you to adjust the amount of weight in the vest, and you should start slowly before gradually increasing as per your vet’s advice.


This is an excellent activity that exercises all your dog’s different muscle groups. Luckily for you, canines do not have a problem taking a dip in the pool or lake.


With this machine, your dog can walk for long distances without leaving the house. The great thing about this machine is that you can adjust its resistance or degree of incline to levels that would help build muscles more effectively.

Weight Pulling

Here, you will fit your canine with a harness that is attached to bulky weight. After that, let the dog walk so that it drags the weight behind him.

Spring Pole Work

Spring poles comprise a pole attached to a spring-loaded anchor and provide outstanding resistance as the canine tugs on the rope. In most cases, you will find poles that are mounted so that the dog reaches up for the rope.

NB: Whichever method you go for, always observe the safety protocols so that you do not end up hurting your pet in the process of building muscles.

Wrapping It Up

To answer your question: yes, it is healthy for dogs to build muscles. This way, your dog will have an overall improvement in his health and give him the endurance to handle all the activities you put him in.

We have given you some tips on the exercises that you can use to enable your dog to bulk up and pointed out the factors you need to keep in mind so that the entire process turns out fine. In the end, we hope that your dog attains the muscular structure that you were hoping for.

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Farmer Jack


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