Is your canine pal a senior? It can be a bit of a shock to realize that your dog is entering his golden years. As Fido ages, his needs will change a bit. While he won’t be as active as he used to be, he’ll still need some exercise and playtime. Even older pooches like to let their inner puppies out sometimes! In this article from Armitage Animal Clinic, a local Newmarket, ON vet discusses playing with a senior dog.
Don’t Overexert Your Pup
Activity is important for Fido, but you don’t want to overdo it. Dogs want to please their humans, so Fido may push himself for your sake. Keep an eye on your furry pal, and end playtime if he is panting heavily or seems tired. Also, when it’s hot outside, schedule doggy playtime for mornings and evenings, when it’s cooler.
Choose Senior-Friendly Activity
Not all activities are safe or suitable for older pooches. Don’t do anything that encourages your dog to jump or stand on his back legs. This is hard on Fido’s hips, and can cause serious issues in pups with hip dysplasia. Ask your vet for specific advice.
Pick The Right Toys
Keep Fido’s age in mind when buying dog toys. Your pet may find it easier to track playthings that bounce, or ones that light up or make noise. Look for soft toys, which will be easier on his mouth. You can also get your canine buddy some toys that are made specifically for senior dogs.
Make It Routine
Try to play with Fido every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. This can be great quality time!
Opt For Carpet
If possible, play with your furry friend in a carpeted area. It will be easier for Fido to get good traction, and more comfortable for him to roll around on.
Fido may not see or hear as well as he used to, but his cute nose will still work just fine! Try things that incorporate tasty treats. The cup game is a good example. Turn three cups upside down, put a treat beneath one, and mix them all around. Or, hide a snack, and tell your pooch to find it.
Please contact Armitage Animal Clinic, your Newmarket, ON vet clinic, for all your senior dog’s veterinary care needs. We’re dedicated to offering great veterinary care!