Age not just catches up with humans, but also dogs. Just like several humans, in their twilight years, many dogs trade their active lifestyle with a lethargic behavior. It’s not that senior dogs don’t want to have fun, however, the pressure that running around and exercising exerts on their joints is too much for them to bear. It’d be unreasonable to expect your senior dog to have energy bursts like a puppy. While high intensity training is out of question for your senior dog, you can follow some simple tips to keep them active and healthy.
- Go swimming
Unlike many physically demanding exercises, swimming is easy on joints and muscles. Additionally, swimming helps improve flexibility and is good for your furry friend’s mental health. Instead of taking your pooch to an ocean, go to a pool or a secluded lake. In case your dog has trouble walking, install a ramp.
- Use platforms for training
Platform training helps improve flexibility, joint strength, and can do your dog’s mental health a world of good. You can either buy a ramp or build one. When building a ramp, use non-skid material. Make sure it is wider than your furry friend’s stance. To train your pooch to perform exercises, use positive reinforcements such as rewarding them with treats.
- Go on short walks
Though your senior dog may no longer be able to run for long distances at a high speed, it doesn’t mean they have lost their love for running. To keep your ageing furry friend active, take them on short runs. If this is out of question, consider going on short walks. During your walks together, stay close to your dog and watch out for signs of fatigue such as breathlessness, frequent halts, and a slower than usual pace.
- Introduce new toys and tricks
Do you believe in the saying you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Think again! Remember, age is just a number. Your dog maybe slowing down due to their increasing age, however, they will always remain a puppy at heart. If you adopt the right approach, your senior dog will be willing to learn new tricks. Train your ageing friend to perform simple tricks such as speaking, rolling over, and playing dead. To stimulate their brain, introduce treat-dispensing toys.
- Play fetch
Playing fetch with your dog apart from helping them stay fit also strengthens the bond that you two share. To help your furry friend avoid stress, use senior dog toys such as soft frisbees. Look for toys made of soft rubber that don’t stress your dog’s teeth. To provide mental stimulation, use toys that make noise. If your furry friend loves playing hide and seek, hide their favorite soft toy in an accessible area in your home and encourage them to use their senses to find it.