Picture by danielgreene
Despite a lifelong association with dogs, I'd never consciously thought of adding stretching to the canine exercise routine. However, Dogs NSW argues that it's important, especially during winter when sometimes the weather defeats broader exercise plans. Here's their recommendations, direct from the press release:
A stretching routine does not have to be complicated. Starting with walking and trotting is a good idea. Then, while supporting your dog’s tummy, try stretching out each foreleg forwards and holding it for 10 to 30 seconds. Similarly, it is a good idea to lift the rear of the dog, and stretch out each of the back legs. Some dogs prefer to lie on their sides and relax while having their legs and neck stretched. These simple stretches can help improve the blood circulation, and improve your dog’s health. If your dog indicates any discomfort, by resisting your actions, it is important to check with your veterinarian.
Many of the larger hounds I know stretch themselves routinely without requiring human intervention, which might explain my ignorance on this point. Nonetheless, it's something to bear in mind for winter, along with remembering that letting your dog sleep on your bed isn't a health risk. For more canine tricks, try hacking your dog's mind using Law & Order.