You’ll notice that even the most active dogs slow down with age, but senior dogs need their exercise just as much as when they were younger. Don’t let the tiredness scare you away! Older dogs benefit greatly from exercise if it suits their age.
Here are some ways to keep your older dog safe and healthy during exercise!
Related: 5 Tips for Walking Your Dog
Check the weather.
All dogs love a walk, but older dogs may not be able to handle the cold or heat as well. Make sure your dog isn’t uncomfortable in the cold by buying a sweater or doggy boots. Feel the temperature of the ground on hot days to make sure the concrete will not burn the bottom of your dog’s paws. If the sidewalk is too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for paws too!
If you live near the water, let your dog go for a dip. Swimming is a great low-intensity exercise for a senior dog and it provides a good cardio workout.
Head for the hills.
Senior dogs tend to have weaker back legs. Taking your dog for a walk on hilly terrain helps to strengthen those hind quarters without undue stress. Look for small inclines; don’t hike Everest!
Watch for changes.
One of the most common maladies in senior dogs is arthritis. If your dog appears exhausted during a walk, is struggling to climb the stairs, or seems suddenly down on energy, take your dog to the vet for a check up.
The most important thing you can do for your senior dog is to keep an eye on his or her needs. Exercise is meant to keep dogs healthy, so don’t overdo it if your dog seems too tired to continue!
Read more: Tips for Senior Dogs