Is your dog approaching his senior years? As Fido ages, he’ll start to slow down, just like people do as they get older. Your canine buddy may not be as interested in jumping for Frisbees or chasing squirrels as he once was, but he’ll still need proper exercise to stay healthy. Here, a Galena, MD vet discusses keeping an aging pooch active.
Walks are really the best doggy workout for aging pups. Let Fido pick the pace, and indulge him when he wants to sniff that patch of grass. Taking a relaxing walk with your four-legged friend is a great way for you to spend time with Fido. The fresh air and sunshine will do you both good!
Fido will always be a puppy at heart. Toss a ball or toy for your furry friend, and see if he feels frisky. Just don’t overdo it. Dogs will often push themselves to please their owners. (Cats, on the other hand, couldn’t care less, but that’s another topic.) As your pooch grows older, you’ll want to start choosing softer toys, or ones that light up or make noise. You can also start focusing on activities that provide mental stimulation, rather than exercise.
Swimming is a great activity for aging pups. If your furry buddy likes the water, then by all means indulge him. The water will support your pup’s weight, giving him a terrific cardio workout that won’t strain his bones and joints. It’s also a fun way for your pet to cool off on hot days! Just keep a close eye on your pooch. Never leave Fido alone near the water. Even dogs that are great swimmers can still get in trouble very quickly.
Every dog is different. Your canine pal’s exact activity needs will depend on his age, weight, breed, and health. Ask your vet for specific recommendations. That said, there are a few general rules of thumb to keep in mind. First and foremost, be careful not to overexert your pet. Also, don’t encourage him to jump or stand on his back legs. This puts a lot of strain on Fido’s bones and joints, and can really exacerbate bone/joint conditions, like arthritis and hip dysplasia.
Please reach out to us, your Galena, MD vet clinic, for all of your senior dog’s veterinary care needs. We are always happy to help!