It can often feel like you blink, and suddenly, your bundle of fluff is a senior dog ready to enjoy their golden years. How did they grow up so fast? Most of us want to care for our pups all their lives, so here’s how to ensure your older dog gets enough exercise.
Keep things gentle
Getting older means our dog might need to skip the mountain trails and opt for flat and softer ground instead. However, movement is often essential to help keep your dog’s joints moving and will prevent them from getting stiff throughout the day.
Short and sweet
It turns out that keeping your walks short and sweet is a lot better for your older dog rather than trying to do too much all at once. Several short walks throughout the day should help to keep your dog active and thinking without tiring them out.
Consider the conditions
Is there a heatwave in town? Perhaps there’s been a recent snowstorm? Many of us think about the weather before we walk our dogs anyway, but this can be even more essential when thinking about our older dog. Senior pups might find it harder to adjust to the weather and could need a coat or cooler times of the day to make up for it.
Stick to the routine
If your dog is starting to lose their eyesight or hearing, then it might be best to stick to routes they know. This is to try and help them feel as calm as possible. Our pets might get a little anxious if we try to walk them on a new route when they feel more vulnerable with less of their senses.
Stick to their pace
One of the most important things to remember when walking an older dog is to stick to their pace rather than making them keep up with you. The chances are that they might start out enthusiastically, but they could get tired quickly and need to take the last part of their walk a little slower.
Move things inside
If the weather outside is less than inviting for a walk, then why not think about getting some exercise inside instead? Exercise doesn’t just mean physical work. This could also be playing some mental puzzles with your dog, such as teaching them a simple trick or playing with toys that require a little work to get the treat.
Consider some alternatives
Walking isn’t the only form of exercise that you can enjoy with your dog. If your dog loves to swim, then why not try hydrotherapy? This can be great as the water helps to take the strain off of joints while still helping to keep them fit and active.
There are so many ways that we can help our older dogs get enough exercise in their later years. Just because they are in their prime doesn’t mean they have to miss out on all the fun. In fact, you could have even more fun looking for alternatives.