Our Top Tips for Exercising Senior Dogs

Our Top Tips for Exercising Senior Dogs

Although your dog might still jump around at the sight of their lead and the mention of a W-A-L-K , as owners of senior dogs we do need to take some extra things in to consideration when planning our dogs exercise regime. 

Exercising a senior dog is essential for maintaining their overall health and well-being. However, as dogs age, their physical capabilities may change, and it's important to adjust their exercise routine accordingly. Here are a few tips for exercising a senior dog:

  1. if you notice a sudden change in your senior dog then we advise booking a check up with your vet. This will help ensure that they are in good health and that there are no underlying conditions that could be exacerbated by exercise.

  2. Keep it short and sweet: Senior dogs may tire more easily than younger dogs, so it's important to keep exercise sessions short and sweet. Start with 10-15 minutes of low-impact exercise and gradually increase the duration as your dog becomes more comfortable. Although they may have loved chasing a ball in their younger years, this may put too much strain on their joints now so a good 'sniffari' around the park will be just as enjoyable. 

  3. Go for a walk: Walking is a great form of exercise for senior dogs. It's low-impact, easy on the joints, and can be done at a leisurely pace. Walking on grass or other soft surfaces is easier on joints than walking on tarmac. Visiting lots of different places, with all their different smells, will be very enjoyable for your senior dog. 

  4. Consider swimming: Swimming is a great exercise for senior dogs as it is low-impact and easy on the joints. If your dog is comfortable in the water, swimming can be a great way to keep them active. You could also consider a water treadmill programme with a physio. This will help to build muscles and take the strain off their joint. 

  5. Incorporate interactive toys: Interactive toys, such as food puzzles, can help keep your senior dog mentally stimulated. They can also help keep them active and engaged, much like a long walk may have done in their younger years. Kong do a fantastic range of interactive feeders, or you can get creative with rolled up towels and muffin tin trays/tennis balls. 

  6. Be mindful of their mobility: As dogs age, they may develop arthritis or other mobility issues. Be mindful of this and avoid exercises that may be too difficult or painful for them. Agility may be off the cards - but you can keep their minds active with other brain training exercises. 

  7. Use a coat - sore muscles can be made worse by the cold. We recommend a thin fleece type coat which can be worn either during the walk, or after to avoid the muscles cooling down too quickly.

  8. Use a quality natural supplement to support their joints. Nutraquin plus is one of our favourite natural joint supplements due to the high level of active ingredients used in the capsules. Our team have all recently completed their Nutravet training and are happy to answer any questions you might have about joint supplements. 

Remember, every senior dog is different and may have different needs and capabilities. It's important to work with your vet and observe your senior dog's behavior to find the best exercise routine for them.

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