5 Surefire Ways To Build Dog Muscle 

Do you want your dog to be in good physical shape? Does it matter to you that they can run, play, and have fun in their lives? The answers to these questions should come as no surprise for dog lovers.  

Muscle growth is essential if you want your dog to have a long and happy life. It’s not only good for your dog’s health, but it may also enhance their temperament. 

This article will cover all you need to know about building dog muscle and how food plays a part in the process. Just to be clear, muscle gaining isn’t just for big dogs. It may be beneficial to other breeds, too.  

Importance Of Building Dog Muscle   

Your dog may need muscle development if it’s the runt of the litter or simply hasn’t developed as much muscle mass as expected despite your best efforts. While muscle growth might be difficult for younger dogs, it’s ideal for senior dogs over a year or two. 

Muscle-building can benefit any dog although some need it more than others. The following dogs may benefit from strength training: 

  • Dogs with unhealthy body mass index (BMI)
  • Dogs with an illness like muscle atrophy
  • Dogs recovering from surgery or injury
  • Dogs suffering from muscle loss, a common problem in older dogs 

Here are effective dog muscle development strategies:

  • Give Your Dog A Protein-Rich Diet 

Low-quality dog food might be the reason why your dog is not building muscle. Ensure the dog food you purchase is high in protein, natural meats, and nutritional components like Bully Max dog food. Dogs require roughly 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day at the very least. There are approximately 50 grams of protein per day for 50-pound dogs.  

 Stay away from dog food with fillers like maize byproducts and unidentified meats. In general, it’s preferable for your dog to consume whole meats than to ingest ‘parts’ or ‘products.’

  • Make Sure Your Dog Gets Enough Supplements

When it comes to helping your dog build muscle, many dog food brands fall short of nutritional value. Aside from the main ingredients, your dog food brand should also contain vitamins, amino acids, and minerals. Vitamin A Acetate is particularly beneficial for muscle development. Vitamin E supplement also builds strong muscles and bones in addition to strengthening the immune system and regulating blood circulation. 

Nutritional information should be indicated on the label of your dog food brand. This helps you check if it contains the necessary nutrients in the right proportion for your dog. 

  • Include A Strength-Training Routine For Your Dog 

Strength training should be part of your dog’s daily routine as it not only builds muscles but also enhances your dog’s overall well-being. It’s essential to keep your dog active especially if it has behavioral problems.

Walking for 30 minutes a day, treadmill jogging, cross-training, fetching activities, tug-of-war, and other similar forms of exercise help build your dog’s strength. There are various ways to exercise your dog, so don’t be afraid to mix things up a little. 

As with any kind of exercise, start slow, then steadily build up the intensity to prevent your dog from being injured. 

  • Start Your Dog On Resistance Training 

Like a weight training program for humans, resistance training can help your dog gain muscle mass. The following activities are highly recommended:

  • Walking With A Weighted Vest: A weighted vest is a garment fitted on a dog like a backpack. It has straps to secure it snugly and weight pockets on its sides. It enhances muscle strength and improves cardiovascular health.
  • Pulling A Weighted Harness: A weighted harness can help build your dog’s muscle and strength without causing injury as the weight the dog pulls is evenly distributed. 
  • Swimming: This exercise helps your dog build toned muscles aside from being therapeutic. 

As the above activities are quite strenuous, your dog needs rest days in between for its muscles to recover. 

  • Allow Time For Your Dogs’ Muscles To Grow 

Even with the best diet, supplements, training, and weighted vests in the world, your dog’s muscles will take some time to develop. Before labeling your dog a ‘runt,’ be patient and continue with your dog’s muscle-building and strength-training routine. But be sure to take progress photos or measurements as progressive muscle gain may not be readily discernible.

The cat athlete is lifting the dumbbell weights. White background. Isolated.


When building your dog’s muscles, bear in mind its breed. Pit bulls or American Staffordshire terriers typically accept the extra heft well. However, a greyhound, whippet, or Afghan shouldn’t be bulked up. These dogs might have difficulty carrying too much extra weight.

It’s not that difficult to grow muscle in a dog, and it’s a lot of fun for both dog and owner. The transformation of a runt into a confident, happy, and powerful dog is a joy to behold. Your dog will benefit from having increased muscle mass, whether you want it to win awards, scare away intruders, or simply for improved health and optimal physical performance. 

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