We all slow down with age – even our family pets. Puppies often have boundless energy but as time goes on that slows. Even with this new stage of life, it is important that we keep our loved pets active.
As our dog ages, we need to ensure that they stay active to remain healthy. But just as we humans often change our workouts as we age, so too should our dogs.
Be observant for changes
There is a condition called osteoarthritis that is common in older dogs and can affect our loved one’s ability to move. Activity over time can put stress on bones and tendons and the joints can decline. Some breeds are affected more than others – like German Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers – as well as dogs that may need to lose a few pounds.
If your dog is exhibiting signs of issues, be careful with the movements or activities that are too fast or abrupt. It is possible that something could happen to our dog to produce discomfort or damage to them.
Any signs of discomfort or issues walking, you should take your dog to your veterinarian to get a complete checkup. If allowed, you can move forward with a workout plan.
Get outside and breathe in the fresh air
We all love going outside – and surely your aging dog too! Walking each morning will help loosen up the joints and help with pain. Begin slowly if this is a new activity and work your way up to longer walks more times a week.
Mind games are crucial as well for your aging loved one. Introduce a new food or treat for your dog tolerates it well. Variety is a great way to excite your pet. Using smell games are another way to mix things up. You can hide treats around your home or in toys.
Food for your aging pet
When introducing a new active routine, nutrition is very important. There are dog foods specially designed for aging dogs. Many dogs benefit from supplements for joints and muscles as well.
Even though your dog is aging, play is still important and makes for a happy pup. You can focus on having soft toys to ensure there is no harm to teeth. There are lots of soft toys available for your dog that are not as hazardous as harder toys.
Your best friend can continue to reap years of happiness from your attentive focus on exercise, play and proper nutrition. Enjoy all that Spring has to offer and head outside! Your pal will thank you!