Keeping Your Older Dog Fit

Keeping Your Older Dog Fit

Posted May 11, 2021 in Senior Dogs

Regular exercise is crucial if you want to keep Fido’s joints limber and muscles strong. Keeping your furry friend active at an older age will also help control their weight and keep their brain engaged. All of these things will help your senior dog live longer and boost their quality of life.

Keeping Up With Your Walks

Walking is extremely beneficial for your canine companion, so you should definitely keep up with it as they age. Going on walks is not only a great way for Fido to stay physically active, but it also gives them a chance to experience new sounds, smells, and tastes which will keep them mentally stimulated as well.

However, with having a senior dog, there are things you need to keep in mind. Since senior dogs have difficulty regulating their body temperature, you should try to avoid exercising with them when it’s extremely hot or cold outside. It’s also important to try and avoid walking up steep hills with Fido, and instead try walking up gradual hills to help strengthen their hind legs. If you come across any steep hills that you need to go down, try to zig-zag your way down it in an effort to avoid too much stress to your pooch’s front legs. 

Consider Swimming

Swimming is fantastic for senior canines since it’s aerobic and low-impact. But, it’s important to pick the right places to go swimming with your pooch. While lakes and ponds might seem great, they can have submerged rocks or logs that can make accessing them difficult. Additionally, in some cases, cold water can worsen arthritis and joint problems in your senior pup. With this in mind, canine pools are excellent in that they can provide your pooch with warm water to swim in that’s in an environment made for older or injured dogs. The warmer water can help loosen your pup’s joints while stimulating circulation, all while helping them build muscle. There are even some canine water therapy centers that have underwater treadmills, so even non-swimmers can benefit from the experience. 

Don’t Forget to Stretch 

Dogs love a good stretch, and if you’ve ever seen them get up after a nap, then you know that’s true. Stretching not only helps promote flexibility in Fido but also can help them feel more relaxed as well. As a pet parent, you can actually help your senior pup by gently guiding the stretching of their rear and front legs – benefiting their hips, spine, knees, ankles, wrists, elbows, chest, and shoulders. If you look into dog massages or Doga, they include guided stretches with your pup.

Keeping your furry friend active is excellent for their physical and mental health, especially as they start to get older.

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