Can Dogs Have Abs?
Every pet parent wants to make his pup stronger and muscular with prominent abs, but the point to ponder is, ‘Can dogs have abs?’ Isn’t it humans who have biceps, triceps, and abs, so what about the dog?
While dogs have abdominal muscles, they’re not as visible as human abs. These muscles can be built by exercising and bulking, with several benefits like increased core strength and stamina. Well-built abs in dogs aren’t prominent but make your dog stronger, muscular, and healthier.
However, not all dog breeds can build abs and muscles to improve their strength, and several other factors like age, diet, and workout plans are involved in determining whether your dog will be able to grow muscular or not. So, everything is discussed in great detail below, so keep on reading!
Can Dogs Have Abs? A Big Concern!
To answer this question effectively, you need to understand the anatomy of dog muscles.
Both humans and dogs have abdominal muscles, which are commonly called abs. Humans have very well-defined abdominal muscles. Like when you hit the gym and start bulking these muscles and burning off the top layer of fat, you see a prominent six-pack.
Dog abs are structurally different. They are not well-defined, even if there’s little to no fat covering them. Even the most muscular dog will have a light six-pack without definite lines marking out each muscle.
Though these muscles are not defined and don’t present themselves as human abs would, they can be built using core exercises and appear sturdy like all other muscles. You won’t see a hanging belly. The stronger these muscles are, the better they are as a support for the dog’s trunk.
In short, dogs can have abs, just not as defined as you’d expect. They can be built, but they don’t resemble human abs.
What Dog Breeds Are The Most Muscular?
Your dog’s diet plan and exercise routine are just two factors of whether or not your dog can gain abs. A major deciding factor is the dog’s breed.
Whilst small and dainty dogs like Pomeranians, Samoyed, or Poodles are smart and adorable, spending time trying to build their muscles is futile.
Muscular breeds that can gain sturdy abs, core, shoulder, and leg muscles usually have little fur and a large build. American Pit Bull and Dogo Argentino have a broad chest that naturally grows muscular with little exercise. Doberman and Rottweiler grow bulky fast as well. Cane Corso and Boxer build abs and leg muscles easily too.
Easy Workout for Dog Abs and Muscles
Now you get to the fun part- building those abs and muscles with exercises! You will get all the exercises you can try with a muscular breed to improve their strength.
Warm-Up for Dogs
Warm-ups for dogs is usually done by stretches and a run. Stretching can be taught by conditioning- whenever your dog stretches, say after a nap, immediately use a marker word like “stretch!” and give your pup a treat. He will soon learn to stretch on command. After this, have your dog run in figure 8, which can be done by making it chase its tail.
Lastly, have your dog stand on a high surface like a trash can. Once it’s used to it, have him lift his legs and balance on it. You can also use DIY wobble boards for this. Balancing is great for obstacle course workouts, which you will get to in the next section.
Core Workout You Can Do With Your Dog
Core exercises are the main way of building abs in dogs. You can make these exercises interesting by including toys and giving small treats after every accomplishment.
Here are some core workouts you can do with your dog:
- Holding A Stand
Holding a stand for dogs is similar to planks for humans. It forces their core to strengthen under the weight of their trunk. Encourage your pup to hold a stand for a few seconds at the start, then gradually build to 20-25 seconds. Lure him to turn his neck left and right during the stands.
- Sit, Stand, Repeat
Changing positions is another way to increase core strength. Have your dog switch between sitting and standing, doing 5-10 reps in the beginning. You can add laying down to the routine as well.
- Obstacle Jump
Obstacle jump is a fun exercise that dogs develop an interest in pretty quickly. You have to encourage your pup to walk over raised surfaces. This can be a ladder or DIY hoops and steps made using PVC pipes or styrofoam. You can buy an obstacle course online too.
These help build the hind leg muscles and give added flexibility, which is important for stands. Gradually increase the height of hurdles as your furry baby gets used to them.
Lastly, you can buy a tug toy for your dog and play games of tug. These not only build muscles but help you bond with your pup.
What Outdoor Exercises Can You Do With A Dog?
Since most dogs love the great outdoors, it’s ideal for taking your pup outside and doing healthy activities there. If you live in a hilly area, go for hikes with your dog. If you have a dog-friendly park nearby, do some jogging at a steady pace. Perhaps the best exercise for dog abs and muscles is swimming, as it improves stamina, strengthens the core, and raises endurance. Be sure to go swimming often if you have a pool or live near a beach. Just beware of shells and riptides.
Precautions to Take During Dog Exercises
Even if your dog is of a naturally muscular breed, avoid over-exercising. This high level of exertion neither encourages your dog nor is it good for his health. Start with short basic exercises.
One other precaution to take is your dog’s age. If he’s nearing old age or has some medical condition like arthritis, it’s best not to try building those muscles and abs. Keep him active and playful, but don’t do tough exercises.
What Diet Helps Build Muscles In Dogs?
Just like humans, dogs can’t build muscles and abs without a solid diet. Some foods are better than others when it comes to building muscles. You can get an idea of their diet from the food given below:
- Protein-rich meat. This includes lean meats. Boiled organ meat is an excellent source of protein as well. Dogs digest protein faster, so rich sources are healthy options.
- Fiber-rich foods like green beans, apples, and flaxseeds. Fibers promote gut bacteria and keep your dog full, even if it has a high-protein diet.
- A metabolism-boosting food like kelp is excellent.
Only these foods’ consumption needs to be increased, and they are not meant to replace a balanced diet totally. Your dog still needs vitamins sources like oranges, needs chicken and turkey, and must get omegas from fish oil. Commercial dog food recommended by your vet is great for a balanced diet when combined with lean meats.
Can You Give Your Dog Protein Supplements?
Generally speaking, protein supplements for dogs aren’t recommended. Dogs are carnivores whose diet comprises meats to build muscles naturally. However, your dog may have a health condition diagnosed by your vet that prevents him from gaining muscles or reaching a healthy weight. Your pup may also dislike some meats and would rather prefer dog food, chews, and supplements.
In these cases, you can give your dog muscle builder supplements. Muscle builders are also given to injured dogs who are recovering their torn muscles. Remember, contact your vet before feeding your dog any supplement.
Dogs, just like other mammals, have abs that can be bulked with a proper diet and exercise if your dog is healthy, young, and has a naturally muscular breed. However, these abs aren’t well-defined or prominent like human abs. They simply appear sturdy and boost their core stamina and strength.
About The Author
I'm a content writer and researcher. But bottom line, I loveee animals. I had my first animal which was a guinea pig at age 8. Later had a bunny, dog and a lot, a lot of fish. Writing about what I know about pets will allow me to share my knowledge and love for them with everyone else. Dealing with dogs my entire life, I know a lot.