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Pet owners are always advised to pick a dog that matches their energy levels. As dogs get old however, even the most energetic dog will slow down. Senior dogs’ mobility is reduced as they face numerous problems including osteoarthritis, dysplasia, rheumatoid arthritis and Lyme disease. Previous serious injuries also tend to show up and hinder dogs at a later age. Keeping your dog active is the key to make them live a long life. Whether they are perfectly healthy or limited by medical conditions, dogs can remain active with changes to their routines.
Indoor activities for senior dogs
Stairs are a good way to keep your dog active. If your dog can’t climb stairs, use small ramps that will help them use their muscles with minimal pain. Toy treats that dispense lower levels of food could help dogs not gain weight and also assist overweight dogs in losing weight. Keep your dog moving around the house at their own pace to keep them feeling youthful and active.
Outdoor activities for senior dogs
Dogs should generally be taken out for walks daily. As they get older, you can limit the walks to alternate days. Walks will also get slower and shorter as the dog ages. It is important to not push the dog and overwork it. Physical activities that your dog once enjoyed like fetch, endless running around and wading through tall grass and sand need to be limited. These activities will cause more fatigue as the dog gets older.
Swimming is great for all kinds of dogs. Senior dogs that are suffering from joint pains, can be taken swimming to help them gain strength and improve their overall condition. Most dogs also find swimming to be naturally relaxing and comforting
Keeping senior dogs healthy
A lot of owners have a problem with tuning down the activities as the dog gets older. This can become problematic for the dog and cause health problems. Owners also have to make sure that their dog is constantly hydrated, especially when it’s hot outside. Dehydration will increase fatigue while performing the most basic activities. Regular vet visits, grooming and proper nutrition can help a lot as dog gets older.
The most important thing for owners to remember is to pay attention to your dog. If your dog is getting tired easily, reduce the activities. If your dog seems to be out of it or in pain, go to the vet immediately. The earlier you recognize your dogs’ problems, the easier it will be to deal with them.