!Header Buttons Right Side

Let’s Talk! 519-753-7257

Fido’s Fitness Regimen: Keeping An Aging Dog Fit

April 15, 2024

Does your dog seem to be slowing down a little bit lately? The fur around Fido’s muzzle may have begun to turn gray recently. Or maybe you’ve noticed that your pooch simply doesn’t seem very interested in playing or chasing squirrels nowadays. Your canine friend will naturally slow down with time. That’s normal: we all do! You don’t want your furry buddy to turn into a couch potato, though. This post from a local Brantford, ON veterinarian provides some advice on how to keep an older dog active.

How Can I Encourage My Senior Dog To Be More Active?

Whatever his age, your pooch needs exercise of some kind to maintain his health. For the vast majority of our canine companions, daily walks are the norm. Taking a slow, relaxing walk with your pup can be a great way to spend time with him! Let Fido choose his own pace and bring him in when he starts to tire.

You can still take your dog to new paths or parks. Meeting other dogs could still be fun for Fido. Just vet your furry pal’s playmates carefully. Make sure the dogs that are already present at a dog park are all amiable and well-behaved.

Playing is acceptable as well. Fido will still want to let his inner puppy out on occasion. You can throw a ball or a toy for him to catch. Just choose toys designed for senior dogs. Older dogs often find these easy to play with: these toys are gentle on dogs’ mouths, because they are so soft. Other toys may light up or make noise, which will make them easier for Fido to track.

Also, make sure you pick safe places. Choose a spot with carpet or soft grass. That will provide your four-legged buddy with great traction, and will also help cushion him a bit if he should trip and fall. Playing or exercising an older dog close to possible hazards, including pools, stairs, roadways, and fireplaces is definitely not a good idea!

Why Do Older Dogs Need Exercise?

As he ages, Fido will become less muscular. He may also get a bit pudgy. Keeping your animal friend active can help lessen or postpone the effects of common bone and joint problems, such as arthritis. It’s good for his weight, gut, heart, and lungs as well! Ask for specific tips from your Brantford, ON veterinarian.

How Can I Make My Senior Dog Happy?

Fido is not going to be as energetic as he used to be. This isn’t a bad thing. In fact, many people like having senior dogs, because they are so calm and easy to keep. You’ll want to start concentrating on stimulating and enriching his mind rather than on burning off those zoomies.

Master New Tricks: Whoever said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks may have been going about it all wrong. Like humans, Man’s Best Buddy is always learning new things. Teaching your furry simple tricks is an excellent method to provide both intellectual stimulation and a sense of purpose. Dogs always look adorably proud of themselves when they master something new!

Puzzles And Games: you can get Fido all kinds of entertaining game-oriented dog toys these days. For many of them, he’ll have to answer a “puzzle” for him to get a treat. Snuffle mats and scavenger hunts will also put that cute little nose to work. Your pup will enjoy himself sniffing out all the crumbs of kibble you scatter around!

Dog TV:  Fido can even watch channels made just for him. This is an excellent choice for when your furry best friend stays at home alone.

Paw Buttons: These might very well be the most innovative pet invention of the last several years. Yes, you can train your dog friend to tell you when he wants a stroll, a reward, or a hug. Well, maybe. As one may expect, some pups pick this up faster than others.

Why Is My Senior Dog Acting Restless?

Older dogs can become a little restless occasionally. There are a few possible causes for this. One would be that your four-legged buddy just needs extra fun or exercise, and may be bored or restless. But remember that this isn’t the only reason dogs get antsy; this can also be a sign of pain or discomfort. If you see your dog pacing a lot or getting up and down all the time, get in touch with your Brantford, ON veterinarian.

What Type Of Physical Activity Is Most Beneficial For Senior Dogs?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this, aside from walking: every dog is different. You’ll have to think about Fido’s age, stature, weight, general health, and interests. Ask your veterinarian for advice on what is and isn’t good for your furry pal.

However, there are a few broad rules of thumb to follow. You should generally discourage Fido from jumping or standing on his hind legs too often,  because it’s hard on his bones and joints. You will also want to take care not to overexert your furry friend. Our canine friends are incredibly loyal; they will work themselves to death to win our approval. Keep an eye on Fido and watch for symptoms of exhaustion, such as panting and falling behind. The moment your four-legged best friend begins looking weary, it’s time to end the play session. Give Fido some water, a good snooze, and, of course, some belly rubs while he is recuperating.

Is It Good For Older Dogs To Swim?

Sometimes. Swimming can be an excellent doggy workout for the right pup, as it provides no-impact cardio exercise. Fido’s bones and joints won’t suffer, because the water will bear his weight. This can be a pawesome choice if Fido has always loved to swim.

There are, of course, a couple of restrictions. Not every dog can swim. Even the smallest stream can easily carry away very little dogs, though they may be able to paddle about a kiddy pool. Long-backed dogs, like corgis and dachshunds, are likewise not very good in the water. A brachy may not necessarily benefit from this either, due to their high risk of respiratory problems and propensity for getting tired extremely quickly.

Always remember to prioritize your four-legged buddy’s safety. Only let him swim in shallow, secure places. Steer clear of areas with substantial wakes, steep drop-offs, and/or strong currents. You will also need to watch your furry friend very closely. Never leave your dog by himself close to water, not even for a minute.

Be sure to ask your vet for particular guidance on this. You should also check back about this regularly, because as your canine friend ages, his exercise requirements will also change. 

No matter what type of doggy workout ends up being the winner, be sure to spend lots of time with your pet during this special and beautiful time. Senior dogs are truly precious! 

Call Your Brantford, ON Animal Hospital to Schedule An Appointment

Do you have queries regarding the level of activity required by your senior dog? Please get in touch with us anytime. As your Brantford, ON animal clinic, we are committed to providing both excellent treatment and great customer service.

Disaster Preparedness Tips for Pet Owners

Here in Canada, the first week of May is dedicated to disaster preparedness. While this

Fido’s Fitness Regimen: Keeping An Aging Dog Fit

Does your dog seem to be slowing down a little bit lately? The fur around

Meet The Bull Terrier!

Today, April 1st, we salute a very special and charming dog: the Bull Terrier. This
1 2 3 8