Exercise Tips for Your Senior Dog
While your older dog might be starting to show signs of age, exercise is still important, and can even help to improve and prolong his quality of life. You may need to tone down certain activities as they age, but there is still plenty of scope for bonding and fun.
Below is our list of top tips for exercise and your senior dog. Do you have any other useful tips to add?
- Allow your dog to set the pace. Most mature dogs can still enjoy regular walks if you walk at a pace that is comfortable for them. Try and time your walks to a length that the dog is comfortable with, and don’t walk too quickly.
- Consider location when planning walks. Hill walking, or walking on a pebbly beach can be difficult for older dogs, so try to avoid these environments where possible.
- Avoid extreme temperatures. Older dogs struggle with extreme heat or cold, so try to avoid intense midday sun in the summer, and warm them up in winter with a suitable dog coat.
- Try swimming. This is ideal for older dogs as it is low impact, so it puts less pressure on tired or arthritic joints. Swimming can also improve a dog’s overall condition, and is naturally relaxing for them too.
- Consider a mobility aid. If your dog is starting to struggle on longer walks, invest in a mobility aid such as the Karlie Backpack, which will allow you to carry your dog conveniently if he is flagging on a longer walk.
- Try interactive play. Activities like fetch, and hide and seek are a less strenuous form of exercise that still keeps your dog active, and has the added bonus of keeping their brain alert too.
- Consider introducing a younger companion. It is often surprising how youthful an older dog will act in the presence of a puppy. If this is possible, it really can give your older dog a whole new lease of life.