Is your canine companion in his golden years? Fido will experience many of the same changes that aging brings on in people. He’ll become weaker and more fragile, and won’t have as much strength or stamina he once did. However, pups can have long, happy, and healthy retirements. You may find that you really enjoy this special stage of your pet’s life! Of course, keeping your pet fit and active will go a long way towards keeping him healthy. A Potomac, MD vet offers some advice on that below.
Walks are the gold standard doggy workouts for pups of all ages. Fido may do better with shorter but more frequent walks, rather than longer strolls once or twice a day. Let your furry pal pick the pace, and watch for signs of fatigue. When he starts to look tired, bring him back in.
Fido may not have the energy he used to, so rigorous games of Fetch may be out of the question. However, playing will still be fun and beneficial for him. The key is not to overdo it. Dogs will push themselves to please their humans, so don’t let Fido overexert himself. Over time, you’ll want to choose less vigorous activities. You’ll can also incorporate some games that work your canine pal’s mind, such as the Three Cups game or Hide and Seek.
Swimming can be a great activity for Man’s Best Friend The water supports Fido’s weight, which makes this workout easy on his joints. Of course, if your pooch wasn’t swimming when he was younger, this likely isn’t going to be the time to start. Always put safety first! Only let your canine buddy swim in dog-friendly spots. Avoid anyplace with strong currents or a lot of wakes, and never leave your furry friend unattended.
Many of our canine friends excel at doggy sports. These may entail anything from skateboarding to skijoring to dock diving. However, as your four-legged buddy grows older, his strength and endurance will decline. If Fido is active in any of these areas, whether for competition or just for fun, talk to your vet about how and when to start scaling back. You don’t necessarily need to completely pull the plug as soon as you spot gray in your dog’s muzzle: just adjust appropriately.
Do you have questions about senior dog care? Call us! As your Potomac, MD animal clinic, we’re here for you!