With every passing day, your bond with your dog grows stronger. But with every passing year, you may find your best friend slowing down and not being able to participate in what you both once loved. Good news: it doesn’t have to be this way.
Aging is not a disease, and it’s possible for dogs to stay vibrant and vital well into their twilight years. Here’s how we keep our up-for-anything dogs up for anything, now that they’re in their senior years.
Tips for Keeping Your Senior Dog Active
You don’t roll over just because you’re not a spring chicken anymore, and the same should be true for your pooch (unless, of course, ‘rolling over’ is what you’re going for!).
Here’s some of the most important things you can do to keep your senior dogs active.
#1. Find The Right Exercise
Just because your older dog can’t do what she used to, doesn’t mean she needs to be couch-bound. The more active she’s able to stay, the higher her quality of life will be.
The key is to find low-impact exercises for senior dogs that yours will actually enjoy. Swimming and hydrotherapy is a great place to start. You may also want to consider shorter but more frequent walks, and choosing hikes with less challenging terrain.
#2. Stay Mindful Of Their Joints
Dogs can experience painful or tender joints as they age, just like we do. This is why, like we covered, you’ll want to find low-impact exercises. You can also make it easier for them to navigate your home, by providing more supportive beds, ramps, and making sure their nails are always trimmed.
Making sure your senior dog has a diet rich in Omega 3s can also be important for joint health.
And of course, if you suspect your dog is experiencing pain or arthritis, or is having any other age-related issues, always speak to your vet.
#3: Maintain Their Weight
Again, just like we do, it’s easy for dogs to start putting on weight as they age. This is a definite no-no, because it puts more strain on their joints, and can exacerbate other age-related conditions.
So, make sure they don’t get extra treats, and make sure they still get lots of walks. And again, speak to your vet if your dog is struggling to maintain a healthy weight.
#4: More Movement, Not Less
Many owners with older dogs find that shorter but more frequent movement breaks through the day usually work well. Yes, your older dog might need more recovery time, and he might not be able to take long hikes, or walk as quickly. But keeping him active is still just as important for his mental, emotional, and physical health as ever.
#5: Prioritize Their Diet
There might not be anything more important to your canine friend than a healthy diet. As our dogs age, they can have immune and digestive health issues, which can impact their ability to absorb all the nutrients they need (among other concerns).
That’s why it’s critical that you speak to your vet about providing your pal the best possible diet. You may want to also consider enriching your dog’s diet with gentle supplements designed to support healthy joints, boost mobility, and improve quality of life.
#6: Love and Devotion
We can’t prove it scientifically, but a few extra scratches and ‘atta-boys’ always go a long way. And we haven’t met a senior dog yet who'll turn down belly rubs. Follow these tips, pile on the love, and we hope you’ll enjoy many more active years with your best friend.