Is your canine friend getting on in years? Just like people, dogs slow down as they age, and often develop various aches and pains. While exercise is important to Fido’s health, you want to be careful not to push an older dog too hard. Below, a North Phoenix, AZ vet discusses exercising senior dogs.
Choose Appropriate Company
If you have multiple dogs, and they vary in age, it may be better to walk them separately. Your younger canines will be full of energy and wanting to run and explore, while your senior dog would probably prefer a leisurely stroll.
Let Fido Pick The Pace
When walking your dog, let Fido choose his own pace. There’s something very peaceful and relaxing about taking a nice walk with your old friend plodding along faithfully at your side!
Don’t Overdo It
Be very careful not to overexert an older dog. Your furry pal will tire out more quickly as he ages, and he’ll be more sensitive to extreme temperatures. Even if your canine buddy loves to explore, hiking may be too much for him in his senior years. If Fido just wants to take a nap, let him.
Time It Right
Take Fido out in the mornings or evenings, when it’s cooler. During the day, when temperatures are highest, keep your canine pal safe and cool indoors.
Take To The Water
Swimming can be very beneficial for senior dogs. It provides exercise without impact, and is also a great way to cool down on sweltering days. If your dog enjoys the water, ask your vet if swimming is a good option for him. Just be sure not to let Fido swim unsupervised, and take him out of the water when he gets tired.
When Fido was younger, he may have loved playing fetch, but now that he’s in his golden years, you’ll want to take things down a notch. Hip problems are very common in older dogs, and can be exacerbated by jumping. Don’t tempt him to jump or stand on his back legs.
While these are general guidelines, every dog is different. Breed, weight, and health are also important things to consider when choosing suitable exercise. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.
Do you have questions about your senior dog’s health or care? Call us, your North Phoenix, AZ veterinary clinic, anytime!