How to Exercise Your Senior Dog (5 Simple Tips)

tips to exercise your senior dog

When it comes to our four-legged friends, we adore them at all ages.

Dogs are always great companions no matter their age. Whether you’re enjoying your new puppy and his funny antics or admiring your senior dog’s ability to learn new tricks, dogs are truly a man’s best friend.

At around 7 years of age, dogs are generally considered “seniors” and dog owners should know how to improve their pup’s cognitive health and overall well-being in the golden years through proper nutrition, regular exercises and specialized care.

If you own a senior dog, however, you might have realized that he is finding it more difficult to keep up with your usual exercise routine. Or perhaps you have noticed difficulties in his daily walks.

Without a doubt, every dog owner wants to keep their older dogs fit and happy, but the options seem to be limited.

These 5 simple tips will help slow down the apparent passage of time while keeping your senior dog fit and active.

1. Teach new tricks!

The old saying states that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but many old sayings are incorrect – and this one is no different.

Of course, you can teach your senior dog new tricks! Teaching your golden oldie new tricks is a great way to have fun while keeping him mentally stimulated.

One thing to bear in mind about teaching your old dog new tricks is his physical ability.

Most old dogs are physically active, but if your dog has painful joints or is limited by other factors associated with age, bear them in mind.

Teach your senior dog to stand, stretch, bend and move around. Trick training can be a great way to keep your senior dog physically fit and mentally stimulated.

Discover how to train your Dog by playing games: 21 games to play with your Dog that will make them smarter and better behaved!

2. Let your dog sniff around during walks

Walks are extremely important and allow your dog to burn off excess energy.

They are also a good form of mental stimulation and socialization. They can positively influence a senior dog’s mental state, character and bond with humans.

Rather than rushing through the walk, give your dog time to enjoy exciting smells on the way. For older dogs, this can help ensure enrichment without having to go very far.

bullmastiff dog sniffing

When your dog sniffs an area, he is trying to discover the history and the present state of the spot, including details like who had been there and what they did there.

You might not know what’s so interesting about particular smells, but your dog will be truly fulfilled.

Allowing your senior dog to sniff around can help keep him mentally sharp and calm.

The most important thing is to get your senior dog moving regularly. If he doesn’t get moving regularly, he might get stiff, so it’s your responsibility to take him out for short walks and help maintain his health and fitness levels.

3. Give Them Treat-Dispensing Toys

Playtime is vital for your senior canine. Not only does your senior dog enjoy games and fun activities, he needs them to remain physically and mentally fit.

If your dog loved treat-dispensing toys as a puppy, he still finds them enjoyable in his later years. Try out various dog toys, which are particularly designed to meet the needs of your elderly canine.

The right toys will help keep your dog busy, thereby allowing them to remain physically and mentally fit.

Treat-dispensing toys are fun on their own as dogs bounce them and chase after them. When he finally smells the yummy treat inside the toy, the fun will be doubled as he tries to get it.

Some offer special treat paste while others produce kibble once the toy is put in the correct position.

These toys are available in many designs, but elderly canines usually prefer rounded ones because they produce more of the treat easily. Just avoid overdoing the treats or including too much caloric content in your senior dog’s diet.

Nothing is more important to your aging dog than spending some quality time with him.

Choose a good combination of dog toys that will help keep your senior dog happy and active when you are away from home.

The best dog toys will help prevent boredom and keep your elderly canine moving to ensure he stays fit and healthy.

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4. Take a Swim

Swimming is an excellent activity when it comes to exercising your golden oldie.

The water will help support his weight, thereby giving his aging ligaments and joints a rest and allowing his muscles to exercise.

If you live near a lake or have a pool at home, then taking your senior dog for that doggy swim can greatly benefit his fitness and health.

Of course, you also need to ensure your senior dog is having fun and not overdoing it.

Only allow your dog to swim in warm weather and be sure to dry him off as soon as he gets out of the water to prevent a chill.

Also, keep the sessions short to avoid over-tiring your senior dog and monitor him closely to avoid any issues. More importantly, don’t force him to get into the pool if he doesn’t want to.

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5. Adjust the Routine Itself

Just as you need to change the running or walking routes, you should also consider adjusting the routine itself. This will help keep your dog interested in the exercises.

Don’t always follow the same route. Avoid playing the same games at all times. Try and mix things up in order to keep your dog mentally stimulated and interested too.

Get him new dog toys; take him out for short swimming sessions; visit a nearby dog park, and teach him new tricks!

Regular exercises, socialization and mental stimulation will all help keep your senior dog young at heart.

Just like human beings, a senior dog’s energy and activity levels will reduce with age.

In order to keep your dog fit, healthy and happy during his golden years, it is important to encourage physical activity and mental stimulation with exercises that suit your dog’s activity levels.

If you want to Learn more about How to Prepare Your Home To Care For A Senior Dog, you can check this comprehensive guide.

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Passionate lover of dogs and proud owner of a friendly, mischievous and energetic golden retriever named Beethoven! I’m incredibly excited to share my experiences on how best to care for your beloved pet. The more we know, the happier we and our canine friends will be!

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