Even though as humans we might not like it at times, regular exercise and activity are very important to our health as we age. When it comes to our pets, they are no different. In a perfect world, our pets would stay as puppies or kittens forever. However, our dog’s age, and throughout their aging process, they slow down and their mobility begins to decline. Maintaining an active lifestyle is important for you and your pets to promote a happy, healthy life. Exercise isn’t only important for maintaining your senior dog’s strength and mobility. It keeps their mind engaged and their weight healthy.
Where Do You Start?
As dogs get older, they tend to lose their full range of mobility. This is common and can be helped by keeping them active. For all senior dogs, if you notice any difficulties in movement or are looking to start them into an active lifestyle, it is important to visit your vet. By talking to your vet and having your pet examined, you can determine what is the appropriate amount of exercise for your dog. At the vet, they can evaluate their overall health, weight, and range of motion. From there, they can help you plan out an exercise schedule specifically for your dog.
Don’t Strain Your Senior Dog
A physical examination is important to help avoid straining your dog’s arthritic joints. Although it may be sad, your dog isn’t a puppy anymore and can’t do all the same physical activities they once did. Jumping on or off furniture, running on the streets, catching from far distances, spinning, and more might cause too much wear and tear on their body. Take it slow and provide support where necessary to keep your dog comfortable and avoiding injury.
Regular Walks Are Great for Both of You!
No matter the breed or age, dogs love going for walks. Walking regularly is a great, low-impact exercise that promotes a healthy mind and lifestyle for you and your dog. As your dog gets older, you will want to pay attention to how they respond to your walks. Paying attention to things like pace, temperature, and terrain. Be conscious of the climate and time of day you walk your senior dog. Grass and sand are preferred as asphalt and gravel can be damaging to the pads of their paws- especially in the summertime. If you notice that your dog is stiff or worn out, then shortening the walk and avoiding harsh footing can help.
Go Swimming with Your Senior Dog
Can you take your dog swimming? Absolutely! If your senior dog loves swimming, this can be very helpful for their joints in their older age. If you have access to a dog-friendly pool or lake, swimming can provide exercise and reduce the strain on their joints. For some dogs, swimming can even provide relief from aches and pains in their hips. It can also be helpful to invest in a life jacket for your pet to be safe and comfortable in the water.
Get Creative with Your Senior Dog
The most important thing is that your dog is comfortable while they are being active. Over the years there have been developments and products that are designed to specifically help senior dogs as they age. You can try new treatments such as acupuncture, physical therapy, and joint supplements all designed for your dog. If you have any questions about where can find more information on these different options, speak to your vet today!
Speak to Your Vet Today!
At Animal Care Center it is our goal to keep your pet living a happy, healthy life. We are here to answer any questions. We can help make sure they are the proper weight and are living pain-free. Get your senior dog evaluated today and enjoy an active, healthy lifestyle!