Can Dogs Have Abs? – The Answer To An Age Old Question

As dog lovers, for sure you are also wondering if dogs have similar muscle qualities as humans have. You ask yourself, can dogs have abs? Is it possible for dogs to develop certain muscles and get ripped? What type of exercises should dogs do? These are the questions that linger with us when we think about that.

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can dogs have abs

This article will hopefully help and answer all your queries on this topic. Personally, I also ask the same thing since I have dogs as well. We like to know if it is healthy or advisable for our dogs to get ripped and develop abs in the process.

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Can dogs have abs?: The Answer

Can dogs have abs? The answer is both yes and no. Dogs have abdominal muscles or what we call abs. However, dogs cannot have visible abs as humans can. The answer is somewhat not as clear as you think. This shouldn’t worry you because even though dogs can’t have visible abs, this does not mean that they can’t exercise. 

Dogs, in general, can’t have defined and toned abs, but they do have six-pack abdominal muscles. Some dog breeds can develop a set of abdominal muscles by doing substantial ab workouts to get some gains. It’s certainly not something all dogs are naturally capable of. 

Here’s what you can do. Let’s go over the important things to discuss what makes our dogs fit. In addition to that, we would also hope to figure out why some animals can show off their abs more than others. 

Similarities With Us

Dogs are great companions, namely because our lifestyles suit each other. They may not be completely the same, but they sure have a lot in common. This is especially true when we talk of our health. For example, a good run or jog for an hour is a great exercise for dogs. That’s why it’s important to walk your dogs every day.

can dogs have abs

Since dogs have muscles, it is also very necessary for them to move and perform exercises. Dogs can increase their muscle mass, but not necessarily their ab muscles. On a more positive note, they can in fact get stronger shoulders and hind muscles if they are exercising enough. 

On the other hand, dogs cannot carry tools and equipment to build some muscles, unlike humans. Dogs would resort to other exercises to promote muscle growth.

What Exercises Can I Do Together with My Dog?

Just to clarify, dogs don’t actually have abs – the defined six-pack muscles we want to achieve. They only have abdominal muscles which are different from the ones we know of. In order to have “abs”, they need to have low body fat in order for abs to be visible.

Here are some of the exercises you can do together with your dog. Keep in mind that a dog isn’t just a man’s best friend. They are also great fitness buddies. 

Walking and Jogging

Jogging can be as fun as walking. Dogs enjoy a nice stroll daily. It is important to note that dogs were not built for too many running activities. Take for example, Greyhounds, they can run fast at short distances but will get tired during long runs. 

To add a few benefits, jogging helps maintain their weight, improve muscle tone, and build endurance. Like walking, jogging stimulates your dog’s mental health which keeps them happy and mentally sharp. Remember, dogs don’t sweat, so try to avoid jogging on a very hot day. 


Apart from jogging and walking, swimming provides great exercise for your fur companions which strengthens the muscles and is an excellent cardio workout. Also, the exercise they get while going on a swim helps with behavior-related problems.

can dogs have abs

Swimming is perhaps the best way to cool your dog on a hot summer day. Hot and dry weather may make it difficult for dogs to exercise outdoors. Lastly, swimming also provides stimulation much like us. Swimming is fun, and you may increase stimulation by joining them and play.

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can dogs have abs

Go on a hike! This activity is very exciting especially for dogs who enjoy the outdoors. It provides physical and mental exercise. The little bites of nature such as the sound of the river flowing, the smell of grass, and most especially the sights and animals they see are rejuvenating for both you and your dog.

Apart from this, hiking is a healthy, non-competitive, and inexpensive form of outdoor recreation activity. Your dog will surely enjoy the escape from urban stress as well as a great opportunity to enhance your relationship with your canine companion. 

Can dogs have abs and other muscles?

How do you build muscles on your dog? Your dog may not necessarily have abs, but they can build up on other muscle groups for a healthier body. Here’s how you can help your dog achieve a toned body.

There are three areas you have to focus on to build muscles in a dog. These are a healthy diet, strength conditioning exercises, and some r&r (rest and recovery).

can dogs have abs


You should feed your dog food that is rich in protein. In recent studies, dogs that consumed a 12% protein diet had a large increase in lean muscle mass. Low protein-containing foods lacked the amino acids needed for muscle growth. Likewise, dietary supplements can also aid in a dog’s nutrition. 

You can start with a diet plan that begins at least six weeks before the start of training. In addition, senior dogs should have a bigger intake of foods with more protein than fat. This will maintain muscle protein synthesis for their age.


As mentioned over and over again, exercise is very important to incorporate into a dog’s daily routine. Strength training exercises should be properly controlled from lower to higher workout intensity and length. Make sure your dog has enough water during training.

Remember to properly warm up your dog for five to ten minutes. Also, cool downs are also necessary for an additional five to ten minutes. You can do walking and jogging for these.

It is important that dogs work out twice daily for 15 to 60 minutes. Strength training exercises include:

  • Walking and Jogging
  • Weight Vest Exercises
  • Swimming
  • Treadmill or Running
  • Weight Pulling and Dragging Exercises

Rest and Recovery

After a rigorous workout session, you should then ensure your dog will have enough time to rest and recover. Keep in mind that dogs need at least 12 hours of sleep every day. You don’t have to worry if your dog sleeps half of the day because that just means they are healthy. 

In general, dogs only need to be active and moving for about 20% of the day. This means that the rest of the day is allocated for sleeping and relaxation. Rest is very important, like humans, especially to the older dogs. 

What are the Benefits of Exercising Your Dog?

For dogs, exercising is also a way to a healthier and longer life. This is because obesity is a common problem for dogs due to improper eating habits and a spoiled lifestyle in general. In fact, approximately 54% of dogs are overweight or obese. 

can dogs have abs

By performing regular exercises with your dog, you do not just reap the benefits, but your dog would also become healthier. Here are some of the benefits of exercising your dogs to name a few. Your dog may not have abs, but at least they are as healthy as you!

Fewer Mood Swings, Fewer Worries

Studies have shown that when a dog goes out frequently, the dog shows fewer signs of behavioral problems such as destructiveness inside the house, excessive barking, digging, and scary aggression towards other people. Also, this includes behaviors like hyperactivity, unruliness, and excitability. 

Likewise, exercise helps your dog build trust and confidence in you and in their surroundings. Both humans and dogs are known to have increased endorphins secretions when exercising which can improve the overall health and mood. 

Develop Toned Muscles?

Toned muscles are important for dogs, especially for senior dogs. Muscle building and strengthening activities should be incorporated into the dog’s daily routine to help prevent injuries. Toned muscles will help support your dog and give them the stability they need in the joints and tendons.

Also, dog muscle building will also increase their bone density. For senior dogs, toning the muscles will aid in slowing down age-related illnesses such as arthritis and cardiovascular diseases. 

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Boosting Their Confidence

Encouraging dogs to exercise on a daily basis can help them gain enough protection against aging. The boost in confidence will allow them to be friendlier towards other dogs as well as become calm around different people and the environment.

Exercising with your dogs will make them feel more comfortable in their surroundings. As a result, their diet and nutrition will also be affected positively.

Improves Overall Health

Exercising will indeed improve the overall health of dogs. For one, a more toned and developed body means larger and stronger muscles that can help prevent injuries. One benefit would be a healthier digestive system. Regular exercise can help speed up a dog’s metabolism.

With enough and proper exercise, dogs can be healthy for a long time. We would do that for our beloved pets, wouldn’t we? Exercise will help ensure a healthy heart and prevent cardiovascular diseases. Likewise, it also helps maintain excellent stamina to keep lungs healthy. Lastly, a healthy physical body equates to great mental health for dogs.

Wrapping Up – Can Dogs Have Abs?

In conclusion, dogs do have abdominal muscles but do not have a defined and visible set of abs. Nonetheless, muscle building and strengthening conditioning through exercises are very beneficial for all dogs. This is especially true for older dogs that may have some health complications present.

Additionally, exercise is also recommended for dogs to help in maintaining overall good health. Some benefits include a fortified immune system, toned body muscles, and cardiovascular integrity. Keep in mind that a quality diet also works hand in hand with a great exercise routine. Intake of protein will boost muscle growth. 

Your dog may not have the biological capacity to have abs, but it can develop other muscles. If you want your dogs to achieve a great body, sufficient rest is very very important. You can do all kinds of enjoyable and healthy activities for your dogs as long as you allow your dog to recover at the end of the day.

FAQs – Can Dogs Have Abs?

Can I use my workout equipment for dogs?

It depends on what type of equipment you have. Typically, dog exercise doesn’t require much weight to gain muscles. Their movement and diet are factors for muscle growth.

Is food a factor in muscle growth for dogs?

Yes, eating definitely affects the area of muscle growth for dogs. Like us, large amounts of protein-rich food and amino acids will likely aid in the development of muscles during workouts.

Which dog breeds have abs?

As mentioned, it is not common for most dogs to have a defined set of abs. Some dogs have it though such as a Pit Bull, American Bully, Rottweiler, Boxer, and other large dog breeds to name a few.

Are raw eggs good for a dog’s muscle development?

On the contrary, raw eggs are not good for dogs as they likely have Salmonella. Cooked eggs, however, are a great source of protein as well as other vitamins and minerals great for muscle growth.

Can I give my dog a Creatine?

Creatine is an amino acid supplement people take to gain muscles. There are no sufficient studies and evidence that support creatine helping dogs build muscles. You’d be better off if you dismiss that idea and wait for further studies.

Related: Canine Fitness Guide – K9 Fit Clubs and How They Work


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