How To Make Sure Your Senior Pet Is Getting Enough Exercise
Nothing is more important than keeping your dog happy and healthy. And this holds true, especially during their senior years. As pets age, their energy levels reduce, and they may start experiencing joint problems. As such, you may find yourself having to coax your once-energetic pet into going for a walk.
It’s crucial to consult your vet during this period, as they’ll be able to recommend a nutrition and fitness plan that best fits your pet’s needs. What’s more, your vet could recommend a supplement plan that could ease any aches and pains that prevent your pet from being active.
With that said, here are a few ideas that will help ensure your senior pet is getting enough exercise.
Adapt to your pet’s changing needs
Generally, it’s a good idea to get a dog that matches your energy level and lifestyle. But at some point, hiking and running may become incredibly strenuous for your dog. Pay attention to their behavior, so you can adjust their routine as needed. Instead of running, slow down and go for a brisk evening walk instead. Eventually, this may evolve into a slow stroll around the block.
If you’ve just adopted a senior pet, it may take time to assess its limitations. In this case, it helps to start with slow activities and eventually build up to a pace that fits their energy and endurance level.
Choose low-impact activities for your senior pet
Here are some alternative activities for senior pets:
- Swimming – Get your dog into the water. It’s a low-impact activity that’s easy on the joints and great for preventing muscular degeneration.
- Scatter feeding – If you have access to a backyard, scatter treats around the yard that will get your dog sniffing and walking.
- Interactive toys – The idea here is to make exercise fun. Incorporate their favorite toys into exercise activities or use puzzle toys to provide both mental and physical stimulation.
On that note, look into physical therapy. Ask your vet about physiotherapy or other rehabilitation techniques that will help your dog remain active for longer.
Be aware of your surroundings
Your dog’s senses will dull as they age. If your dog is experiencing sight or hearing loss, it’s crucial to keep to familiar surroundings. Doing so will ease their anxieties and allow them to exercise for longer. Take time to reassure them to prevent them from becoming withdrawn. More importantly, do everything at your dog’s pace. If they become agitated, it may be a good idea to stop the exercise session and continue when they’re relaxed.
Consider getting a mobility aid for your senior pet
Larger dogs struggle as a result of their size during their senior years. They no longer have the energy or endurance to lug that much weight around. As such, you may want to get them a support harness that will help them feel lighter on their feet. Installing ramps around the house may also encourage your dog to move around the house more. After all, exercise doesn’t always have to take place outdoors.