Modifying your dog’s exercise program as they age is crucial since their bodies and minds change. Even though some older dogs may require less exercise than they did when they were younger, daily exercise is still essential to preserving their general health and well-being. We’ll look at some advice on keeping your aged dog in shape and active in this article.
Contact your veterinarian
Giving older dogs exercise is crucial. However, you must speak with your veterinarian before beginning any new exercise regimen with your elderly dog. They may evaluate your dog’s general health and assist you in choosing the appropriate activity for your dog’s age and physical condition.
Due to their aging joints and muscles, dogs find high-impact exercise challenging and unpleasant. So instead, emphasize mild exercises that are low impact on their bodies. For the majority of elderly dogs, walking is a fantastic alternative since it offers both physical and mental stimulation. Another low-impact activity that can be beneficial for dogs with joint discomfort is swimming, as it takes the pressure off their joints and gives them a full-body workout.
Adjust the Intensity
Even if your elderly dog has been physically active their entire life, it might not have the same vigor and endurance it once did. Be aware of your dog’s physical limitations and modify the exercise they receive as necessary. This can entail lowering the pace of their playtime, taking more frequent pauses, or minimizing the length of their walks.
Engage in Mental Exercise
It’s crucial to provide your elderly dog with mental activity and physical exercise. They can prevent cognitive deterioration and keep their wits fresh with mental activity. You can keep your dog’s mind active and engaged by giving them puzzle toys, treat-dispensing toys, and obedience training.
Senior Dog-Specific Exercises
Also, specific exercises are made to keep older dogs physically fit and mobile. For example, balancing exercises like standing on uneven surfaces can improve your dog’s stability and balance. Lifting their legs or walking over obstacles are examples of strength workouts that can help them keep their muscular mass and avoid muscle loss. Moreover, stretching activities can assist in maintaining their joints’ flexibility and lower their chance of injury.
Pay Attention to Signs of Discomfort
It’s crucial to pay great attention to your elderly dog’s behavior and body language when they exercise. When your dog shows signs of discomfort or pain—such as limping, heavy panting, or reluctance to move—you may notice that they exert too much effort. Stop exercising and visit your veterinarian if you see any of these symptoms.
In conclusion, aged dogs still require frequent exercise to maintain their health and enjoyment. You may help keep your elderly dog in shape and active for years by working with your veterinarian, concentrating on low-impact activities, modifying the intensity, engaging in mental activity, including senior dog-specific exercises, and being aware of signals of pain. Remember that every dog is different, so what works for one dog might not work for another. Be patient, adaptable, and always attentive to your dog’s needs.