Whilst your elderly dog still needs to be exercised, they may have various health conditions such as arthritis or sight loss which can limit there exercise. However, it is vital for other health reasons that they l stay active and get exercise. They may be slower and need more rest
Exercising an elderly dog
At Finchley Dog Walker we specialise in walking senior dogs and below are our top tips on walking and exercising old dogs
Gentle but regular walks
Even though your dog is now a senior member of the family they still need to be kept active to help with the limbs and joints
However, rather than going for one or two long walks each day, shorter and ore gentle walks ae needed. After all your dog will still want to go out and sniff around enjoy the fresh air and the great outdoors
Keep to small and gently walks
Watch the weather
When walking your older dog, it is essential to check the temperature and weather conditions. Senior dogs cope even less with extreme temperatures. During the cold season, I would recommend that you purchase a coat for your more senior dog to help their joints in the cold weather.
Please keep to the same old routes with your senior dog.
Now that our dog is getting older and the chances are his eyesight is failing keeping to familiar routes will prevent them from getting stressed and anxious.
Be your dog’s eyes.
If your dog has started to loos his sign or his hearing, then he is relying on you to keep him safe. Bikes and joggers etc. that to him will appear to come out of nowhere will be stressful.
Try and keep an eye on your surroundings and be prepared. If you notice something that you hink will frighten or cause your dog stress, then stop and stoke them gently helping to reassure them that there is nothing to worry about.
Let your dog set the pace of your walk
When we are out on walks with your more senor clients we go at their pace. This may mean it takes us half an hour to do a 10-minute block, but at the end o the day it is their walk
It is important to remember not to rush the or ake the exercise ore than they want t.
If during the walk they decide to have a lie-down for a few minutes then let them, they are telling you they need a rest
Indoor games and exercising an elderly dog
All dogs including senior dogs benefit fro exercise and indoors games especially when the weather is either too hot, cold or wet
Playing brain games with your senior dog also allows you to have some quality time together
Exercise for senior dogs
Just because your dog has reached their mature years, this does not mean that you need to stop exercising don’t
Below are a few simple ideas of exercise you can do with your senior dog
Even the most senior of dogs will still want to go out for a gentle stroll and enjoy the outdoors. This may mean shorter walks with the opportunity to rest
It has been proven that swimming can be an excellent exercise for older dogs as it is gentle and doesn’t put much strain (if any) on the older joints. You must dry them off thoroughly when they have had their swim. This will prevent them from getting cold.
As with all dogs, only let them have a swim providing it is safe Remember pools and lakes that have higher sides to climb before they can get out may prove a challenge. Consider using a harness with a handle that enables you to help them out.
Generally speaking, older dogs will keep their scent of sell. In this case, like all dogs, they will enjoy scent games. The advantage of scent games is not only does it help tire them out but it keeps the brain active and in working order
Senior dogs still love to play their favourite game. However, you may need to be a bit more gentle and a bit ore slower. It is also essential to try and not make them have to jump etc
As a rule, dogs like to socialise. This is the same as they get older. Try and meet up with a dog of similar age and mobility so they can enjoy some time together
“you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. This is not tre they may just take longer to get it. Try teaching them some new tricks to help keep their brain active
Senior dogs benefit from simple stretches
Consider a mobility aid for the older dog
Maybe your dog has some mobility issues, so walking is a struggle. If this is the keep them case it is still vital for them to have exercise of some sort so they can enjoy a certain quality of life
As previously mentioned – brain games
Consider acupuncture, physiotherapy, hydrotherapy or massage techniques that might help them.
Ramps – look into getting a ramp. These can be a great aid in helping them get in and out of cars or tackling the garden steps
Wooden floors – put down non slip rugs so they can grip easer. This makes it easier for senior dogs that aren’t so steady on their feet to walk rather than having legs slip in all directions
It is essential that you keep an eye of their nails as they won’t be walking as much on concrete etc to wear them down. As a result, they may need clipping
You may also be interested in 5 things your old dog would like you to understand