When dogs get old, they slow down—but that does not mean they have lost their zest for life! There are many ways to enjoy activities with your senior dog. The key is to do activities that are age and ability-appropriate and to be mindful of their overall wellbeing.
Some senior dogs have decreased hearing, vision, and mobility. A dog that has poor eyesight or hearing can easily become disoriented in an unfamiliar place and get lost. For that reason, it is important to keep your dog on a leash when you are at a park and take special care to not let other dogs play too rough.
There are several things you can do to make your home safer and more accessible. Keep your dog away from slippery floors and block-off stairways. “Slippery floors are a nightmare for mobility issues,” says Veterinarian Judy Morgan. “Having carpet runners or rubber mat runners is much safer and more comfortable for them.”
If your dog loves to lie on the couch or sleep in your bed, use ramps to help her get to her favorite snuggle spot. These slight updates can help your dog continue to live its best life.
Senior dogs are less active than younger dogs; so, it is critical to monitor and probably moderate their food intake. Some senior dogs are prone to digestive problems. Ensure you’re feeding your dog the right nutrition for their age and breed but speaking with your vet.
It is important to keep your senior dog active. Consider taking your dog to dog-friendly places like a coffee house or pet store. If you have a fenced-in yard, place Born Free kibble in hiding places around the yard – for a game of hide-and-seek. Go for slow and comfortable walks your dog can easily handle, and be mindful of the temperature because senior dogs are sensitive to cold and hot weather. If your dog has always been social and wants to interact with another dog, make sure their playmate is calm and gentle.
Swimming is an excellent activity for senior dogs. Take your dog to a lake, pool, or for hydrotherapy because the buoyancy of water reduces stress on joints and muscles—and it is great for cardio. Another way to soothe a senior dog’s achy joints and improve mobility is by performing stretches on her.
Love and affection
Last but not least, be sure to give your senior dog as much love and affection as possible.