Written by Robert Gillette

Charter Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation (2010). 20 years’ experience with athletic and working dogs; author of one veterinary surgical text book; numerous related book chapters and scientific publications; national and international lecturer on Canine Lameness, Veterinary Rehabilitation, Athletic Dog Performance and Sports Medicine. Dr. Gillette is presently practicing in the New Jersey area as a Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation expert caring for Athletic and working dogs.



  1. I found this article very useful, especially the comment regarding immune-system suppression post-exercise–as I had not heard this before! Now, I am also wondering what Dr. Gillette could explain about the use of post-exercise recovery periods–especially as regards duration! I have a 4-year-old Terrier mix (approx. 17.5 lbs.) who is a frequent Flyball competitor. She also runs 3 to 5 kilometres with me five days a week (at a pace of approx. 6 minutes/km.) I leave the other two days for recovery and/or for other activities that she enjoys (chasing balls, discs, etc.) On weekends when we have a Flyball tournament, I do wonder if it is a good idea to take her for her usual run on the next day (Monday) or just to take the day off? Would appreciate some general comments about post-exercise recovery, or about my case in particular as an example?

    1. Consider immediate post exercise nutrition to replace the glycogen used up in the muscles for quicker recovery from exercise. Hydration is also important (a few hours or a day prior to and immediately after exercise).
      Ambient temperature (heat) and humidity (high humidity) can be problematic when exercising a dog as both would compromise their ability to cool down.

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