- The best form of exercise for a senior dog is, of course, walking. Your pet might not be able to walk quite as far as previously, but he does need to get outside and keep moving.
- Break up your exercise sessions into smaller periods 15-20 minutes – usually long enough per session
- Low-impact exercise, like swimming, can help with health issues like joint pain or arthritis.
Provide daily exercise for elderly dogs, but be consistent
When it comes to your dog walks, don’t become a “weekend walker”. It’s essential to keep a senior dog active every day to maintain its stamina and muscles. Be cautious, too, with an old dog. If he’s used to just walking around the block Monday to Friday, he won’t have the energy and vigour to tackle a long weekend hike. Yumove have an article on exercising an older dog
Make allowances and adapt your playtimes.
A young pup seems to have endless energy when chasing after balls or tugging at toys. A more senior dog, however, will still enjoy playtimes, but his movements will be slower. It’s time to adapt your play sessions so that your dog still has fun, but be considerate about his energy and reaction times, which may be slower as he ages.
Take plenty of rest breaks during exercise with elderly dogs
An older dog will attempt to keep up with your walking pace but might begin to lag behind you as he tires. Keep checking your dog’s stamina when out for your daily walks, taking a breather stop and give him a chance to rest if he seems tired.
Swap your routine and exercise at home
When the weather isn’t too good, your senior dog might be more reluctant to go outside. Don’t force him but exercise and play games inside instead. Walking around the house with your dog following you from room to room, up and down the stairs is a great workout. Hide treats in various rooms and let your dog sniff them out. He will forget his aches and pains if there is a snack involved.
Listen to your elderly dog’s needs.
As your pet ages, it’s clear he will become less energetic. He certainly won’t be able to walk such great distances and will quickly tire. At this point in his life, you must pay attention to your dog’s needs. He should have more frequent medical checks to ensure he is ageing without any major issues, which will allow the vet to treat any age-related problems at the onset.
When your senior dog is unable to take a daily walk or perhaps is housebound through illness, we can offer a service to visit your home and check on your pet if you’re not able to be around. We will let your dog into the garden for toilet duties and clean up afterwards. An ageing dog benefits from smaller, more frequent meals, which we can give to him, together with any needed medication. Of course, we will also shower your pooch with love and attention and offer soothing belly rubs, making sure that the dog is settled for another snooze before we leave.
Getting older is a natural part of both human and canine life. Respecting this will still give you both enjoyment as you celebrate your dog’s advancing years.