Tailored Exercises for Old Dogs

Exercises for old dogs , Every dog has different age groups, depending on their breed and type, when they are considered old. Normally, a dog above 7 years of age is considered old. However, for other breeds, it could start from as early as 5 years. 

Keeping senior dogs happy and healthy at this age is tough as they might feel tired. Their physical and psychological decline needs a boost as their senses of sight, hearing, and learning begin to weaken. 

This post is crafted to help you learn what exercises for old dogs are appropriate to overcome these hurdles. Exercises for senior dogs impact their quality of life positively, which is why this post would guide you to design their daily fitness routine. 

Do Old Dogs Still Need Exercise?

Just as humans need to keep themselves engaged, even if it is merely using their phones where they can watch an interesting video, dogs need fun activities too. Enrichment activities for old dogs are designed to make their problem-solving skills strong that deteriorate over time. Without these activities, dogs would be bored which would add to their stress levels in old age.

It was evident that during the Covid-19 lockdown, even human beings were affected emotionally and psychologically when they had to socially distance themselves. In the same way, engaging in normal life is a way of enjoyment for old dogs too. They stay occupied in what makes them happy. Enrichment activities for old dogs keep them stimulated for hours.

To be honest, a simple act of sniffing serves as a therapeutic engagement for old dogs. For example, an old dog’s heart rate is stabilized with sniffing when they get to engage themselves in this fun activity for old dogs. Dopamine is released while sniffing and stress hormone is reduced. They feel good when they are walking and sniffing, as they get to explore new things and still feel alive. 

How Much Exercise Should A Senior Dog Get?

Normally, veterinarians recommend at least 30 minutes of senior dog routine daily. By ‘senior dog routine’ it is meant that old dogs need to either walk outside or do light exercises each day for gaining their necessary stimulation. 

The main purpose of fun activities for old dogs is to keep them happy, as mentioned earlier, for keeping their ‘quality of life’ quotient high. The higher they are contended with their life, the lower their depression levels would be. Their mobility limitations are eradicated on a daily basis by building consistent routines with healthy exercises in their life. 

What Is the Best Exercise For Old Dogs? 

Exercises for senior dogs should be planned in a way where short intervals are offered to your furry friend. With the vet’s help, you should include exercises that are for both the physical and mental strength of the old dog. 

It is not only about meeting physical needs of your old dog. You should be aware of his mental and physical requirements, especially if your pet is suffering from a serious condition. Shaping exercises for these old dogs becomes crucial. The dog might not be able to enjoy all those activities that were interesting for him when he was young. Since he is not active anymore as he used to be, you need to try new and different activities for old dogs.

A List of Exercises for Old Dogs

Here is a list of some of the best exercises for old dogs that your dog is guaranteed to enjoy:

1. Walk:

  • It is the best form of light exercise that your old friend would love. This low-impact exercise would support the dog in looking around, taking interest in the weather, sniffing, and keeping up with his own pace. Since old dogs might be sensitive to temperature, they must feel comfortable walking in hot and cold weather, you certainly don’t want your furry friend to get overheated or get frostbite.

2. Crosstraining:

  • By name, it might seem tough for old dogs. However, by noting certain behaviours of your old dog, you can mix and match the daily routine for his physical exercise. For example, yoga and dog Pilates are popular for their light yet strong strength-building benefits. You can add dog treats for your friend whenever you feel he is giving up too early. Still, do not overdo it for him. Start with 15-20 mins the first two to three days and then stretch it to a 30-minute session. 

3. Swimming:

  • Some vets recommend swimming as a great exercise for old dogs’ bones and joints. Light swimming can prove to be a powerful workout for your old friend as it helps in healing any major surgeries. Overall, swimming is the best exercise for old dogs for a prominent reason, which is overall physical therapy- certainly recommended in animal rehabilitation centres. 

4. Hide and seek:

  • Senior dogs might find it hard to run and walk constantly. They might get bored easily or get tired too. Hide and seek would be a good game to keep them engaged for several minutes. Cover your dog’s eyes and throw the ball or Frisbee far away. Open your dog’s eyes and let him hunt for the toy on his own. He would like to sniff around and bring back the toy to you. 

5. Exercises with low stool:

  • Keep a low stool and let your dog take a few steps on it. With one foot and then the other, help your dog take a small step up and down the stool. It would be fantastic jumping and cardiovascular exercise for your old dog. Do keep it light, prioritizing his weak areas for improving his balance. 

6. Wobbler puzzle toys:

  • As the dogs could be encouraged with treats, which is a great way to keep them going, how brilliant it would be to combine the game and treats activities together? By this, we mean the Kong Classic dog toy, which is a bouncy treat toy. You can put several treats inside that the dog would try to wobble and make them come out to his mouth. It is an interactive toy that would keep him engaged for quite some. What’s more? It is surely recommended by dog trainers and veterinarians for assisting in his mental and physical stimulation. 

Also, keep a close eye on certain small habits while you are carrying out fun activities for your old dog. For example, note if the exercises are making the dog drained. He should not be dehydrated, so keep a water bottle for your canine friend always ready for outdoor activities. It would be a good idea to get a dagger stroller when you feel the dog has put up much today and you should give him a break. 

Conclusion

Exercises for old dogs are essential for maintaining their physical health, mental well-being, and overall quality of life. Regular exercise can help prevent and manage age-related conditions such as arthritis, obesity, and cognitive dysfunction. However, it is important to tailor exercise routines to suit the individual needs and limitations of each dog, considering their age, breed, size, and health status. 

Owners should also seek advice from a veterinarian before starting any exercise regimen for their elderly dog. By providing appropriate exercise, owners can help their senior dogs stay active, happy, and healthy for as long as possible.

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