With age, the dog may become less inclined to physical activity. Still, moving is absolutely necessary for him. A master must therefore do everything to encourage his dog to be active on a daily basis. Finding the right means to get your elderly dog moving is essential in order to protect him against obesity, boredom, depression, to reduce his pains related to old age and this allows the animal not to sink into the sedentary lifestyle. Here are three methods accessible to all and to adopt without delay to get your old doggie moving.
Why should you move your dog when he is old?
A dog must be able spend all of your life, and old age in no way justifies imposing a sedentary lifestyle on him. Movement is necessary to avoid muscle wasting, to help your dog to keep a quality breath, to stay enduring. It is indeed important to be aware that in dogs as in humans, inactivity is responsible for a loss of physical strength, muscle stiffness and joint pain. A dog who is active when he is old is more likely to stay healthier than an animal who is tied to his basket.
1 – Choose walks adapted to your old dog
Walks maintain the senses awake and allow you to enjoy the sun’s rays. It is of course necessary to choose open air courses which present no difficulty for the aging animal. We therefore avoid particularly steep paths or making it run over long distances because this unnecessarily tires the animal. Whenever possible, we choose the countryside rather than the city where there is noise and too much animation. If you live in an urban area, it is wise to take the car to get out of the city so that the dog can enjoy 100% of his outing in nature.
Ideally, we should limit ourselves to 30-minute walks, at the rate of at least three a day. It is highly preferable than forcing your dog to have a single daily outing of 1.5 hours or more as this can exhaust and discourage him. However, the elderly dog must find an interest in his walk to continue to want to put his nose outside. He must enjoy at each getaway with his master. The ride should therefore never be stressful or exhausting. This is how you can soften the old days of your little four-legged friend.
2 – Playing with your elderly dog
We don’t always imagine how much the game is fundamental to preserve the physical and mental health of his dog, and to maintain his dynamism despite the advance in age. This also allows to maintain a beautiful bond between the master and the animal, and these shared moments are essential for the dog to feel loved.
Of course, you don’t play with an old dog like you play with a puppy. he must respect your physical capacities and not force him to go beyond what he is able to do. It is exactly the same as in humans. We won’t force our octogenarian grandfather to share a game of squash, but we can, on the other hand, organize a pétanque or an aquabiking session to break away from a sedentary lifestyle and allow him to happily share a moment with the family …
At the senior dog, the game is therefore a real stimulating. We continue to play ball or ball with him, the main thing being to make him jump less high than before and simply reduce the distances.
3 – Allow your old dog to swim
Swimming is excellent physical activity for dogs. It can be allowed to swim in a lake or in a small stream, even in a swimming pool specially adapted for pets. If the dog enjoyed swimming when he was younger, there is no reason to deprive him of this pleasure. Thus, he is allowed to maintain his musculature, to relax and to evacuate stress. Note that swimming is beneficial for dogs with depression and for those suffering from dysplasia.
So that the animal only pulls benefits of these bathing sessions, of course, the water must not be too cold and the day must be sufficiently sunny. And to avoid any risk of hypothermia, his owner must take care to dry his animal well as soon as it comes out of the water.
If the elderly dog has been inactive for some time, following an illness for example, it is essential that he can resume physical activity but gradually. It starts with a simple short walk during the first few days and that you gradually lengthen. It is strongly recommended that you schedule visits to the veterinary regularly. The health care professional can recommend the most suitable physical exercises for the senior dog based on his abilities, size and state of health.
Continuing to play with your dog and encourage him to move is doing him a great service. It thus retains its joy of living and a good mental state. This allows to keep him awake and maintain cognitive functions. It is by moving your senior dog that you improve your quality of life and sharing all these moments with him is also good for the teacher who in this way requires himself to maintain an essential daily physical activity for him too.