Exercise tips for older dogs
14th January 2019
Older dogs may have trouble with their joints or have medical conditions which make getting around difficult, but it’s still important for them to get enough exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Exercise can also prevent certain health conditions developing. Take a look at these top tips to help your older dog exercise safely.
Dogs of all ages should be taken for a walk at least once a day. It’s a good idea to take an older dog on a familiar route that has an even surface for them to walk on. Be aware of the temperature outside as older dogs can have trouble regulating their body temperature. On hot days, take walks in the early morning or evening when it’s cooler and consider a winter coat for your dog when the weather is cold.
Don’t walk too fast because your older dog will try to match your pace and then they can get tired quickly. Take the walk at your dog’s pace, and if they start to struggle, head for home.
If you’re at home during the day, you could try a few short walks instead of two long ones as this might suit their stamina better.
Some older dogs will enjoy a play in the park just as much as younger dogs but walking there may tire them out. To make sure they have enough energy to enjoy themselves, travel to the park in the car. That way they won’t get tired travelling there and as soon as they get tired at the park, you can take them straight home again.
Teach an old dog new tricks
Teaching your dog some new tricks is a great way to give them some gentle exercise as it’s easy to limit the training to short bursts of activity. You can also choose tricks that are best suited to your dog.
Just because your dog is old it doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t have new toys from time to time. Introducing a new toy can provide much needed mental as well as physical exercise. Playing with toys at home is a good way for you to ensure your dog doesn’t exert themselves too much.
Your older dog should have regular check-ups with a vet, who can advise on how much exercise your dog should be getting and if any ailments might affect their ability to do certain forms of exercise.
Monitor your dog’s exercise
Monitor your dog’s exercise levels with an Animo activity and behaviour monitor. This can help you notice any sudden drops in the amount of exercise that they do, which could be an indication that they have developed an illness or that age-related problems might be affecting their ability to exercise. If you notice changes in their activity levels, take them to see a vet for a check-up.