Is your dog in his senior years? Although Fido will slow down with age, he’ll still need regular activity to stay healthy. Exercise will keep your pup’s muscles from atrophying, promote good cardiovascular health, and generally help keep him in shape. Here, a Crown Point, IN veterinarian discusses exercising an older dog.
Swimming is a great option for many pups. Because the water will support Fido’s weight, he can get a good workout in without straining his bones and joints. Of course, this isn’t an across-the-board recommendation. Some pooches aren’t well-suited for swimming, while others just don’t like it. Consult your vet … and your dog.
Playing is a great way to keep your pooch fit! Just watch for signs of fatigue. Fido won’t have the stamina he used to, and he may push himself too hard if you keep encouraging him to play. Also, choose toys made for senior dogs. These may make noise or light up, so they’re easier to track. We also recommend playing on a soft surface, like grass or carpet. Eventually, you can start incorporating less vigorous games, such as the doggy version of the ‘Three cups’ game.
Did you know that over half of older dogs have arthritis? Hip dysplasia is also very common in our canine pals. While these painful conditions cannot be cured, they can be managed. There are actually several treatment options available, including medication, acupuncture, and massage. These things help reduce Fido’s pain and increase his mobility, making it easier for him to stay fit. Ask your vet for more information.
Don’t Overfeed Fido
Obesity is very common in older dogs. Extra weight will not only increase Fido’s risk of developing several medical conditions, it will also put additional strain on his bones and joints. Supplements may be helpful here. Fatty acid, glucosamine, and fish oil are all beneficial to your pet’s joints. Ask your vet for specific advice.
Take Regular Walks
Although every dog is different, most pups need at least a daily walk. You may really enjoy these peaceful strolls. Fido will plod faithfully along at your side, and will be more interested in sniffing grass than lunging after squirrels. Savor this special time with your furry BFF!
Please contact us, your Crown Point, IN vet clinic, for your senior dog’s care needs. We’re here for you!