Tip: Exercise for the Aging Dog

Tip: Exercise for the Aging Dog

As your dog ages, they may not be as excited as they used to be to do the usual activities. In this quick-read article, we provide some basic suggestions to match activity to your dog.As our dogs age, they slow down and, just like us, they like to rest more. We as pet owners, can get lulled into not being as active with our dogs as we used to because, after all, they seem content now to lay around. But really, routine moderate exercise will help your dog greatly. Exercise keeps dogs more mobile by making sure their muscles stay strong, helps blood flow, and strengthens their immune system.

All of these benefits improve and add to their quality of life. Here are some basic tips to get your dog off "of the couch” so to speak:

Walking

If they have slowed down, start off slow, at say 15 minutes per day and slowly increase until you build up to 1 hour per day for 3 days each week. This is not only good for their bodies but for their minds as well. Keep in mind that dogs are social creatures, so they really enjoy being out and seeing other dogs and people.

Play with them: 

Fetch, tug-o-war, and other active games. It’s lots of fun and really, in part, why you have a pet in the first place—to interact with them. If you have kids as well, get them involved, so everyone can get exercise and have fun as well!

Look for special places to take your dog: 

Take them with you so they can get out. Even if it is not exercise-heavy, they are out and moving which is the important thing. Also, remember, that the social aspect comes into play here which is stimulating mentally for them.

Get a younger companion pet: 

Lastly, if you have the favorable circumstances (and the patience), getting a companion pet (dog or cat) will help to keep them young and active, and also keep them company.

It’s quite rewarding to see your long-time companions flourishing and enjoying their life for as long as possible. With a little effort you can create a simple exercise program that will help you accomplish this.

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