Keeping a Senior Dog Active

Is your canine pal starting to slow down? Just like people, dogs tend to get less active in their golden years. We know, there are few things cuter than an old dog peacefully snoozing in his bed. However, you don’t want to let Fido become a complete couch potato. Here, an Ellicott City, MD vet offers some tips on exercising an older pooch.


Walks are really the standard when it comes to keeping Fido active. Just let your canine friend pick the pace. Also, keep a close eye on your pooch, and watch for signs of fatigue, such as lagging or panting. Turn back when your dog starts to look tired. Older dogs are quite sensitive to temperature extremes. Limit your pet’s outdoor time when it’s hot or cold out. You’ll also need to be extra careful if your furry pal develops issues with his vision or hearing, especially at night. Steer your dog around potential hazards, like broken glass, and don’t let him walk too close to traffic.


Swimming is also a good option, assuming your dog likes it. The benefit here is that the water supports Fido’s weight. That way, he can get a good cardio workout without stressing his bones and joints. Safety first, though. Never leave your furry buddy unattended near the water, even just for a moment. Also, don’t take your four-legged pal anywhere with riptides, heavy wakes, or steep drop-offs.


Playing can be a great way to keep your furry friend active. Fido’s muzzle may turn grey, and he may walk more than run, but he’ll always be a puppy at heart. Take care not to overexert your pet, though. Dogs strive to please their humans, and will sometimes push themselves to the point of exhaustion. A few rounds of Fetch is often a good choice. Some older dogs like games that offer mental stimulation, such as Hide and Seek. Your canine buddy may also enjoy the doggy version of the Cups game. (Put three plastic cups upside down, hide a treat beneath one, and move them around.)


All of our canine companions are different, and their workout routines should be too. Ask your vet for specific advice on the type and amount of exercise your pooch needs.

Please reach out to us, your Ellicott City, MD vet clinic, anytime. We’re always here to help!

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