Is your canine companion starting to slow down a bit? Is Fido perhaps going grey around the muzzle? Your pet will somehow manage to get even cuter as he grows older. However, his needs will change a bit. One area where you’ll need to make some changes is in your pup’s exercise regimen. You’ll read some great tips on keeping an older dog in shape in this article from a veterinarian in Wickenburg, AZ, and the surrounding communities.
Generally, walks are going to be the status quo here, as far as doggy workouts go. How far and how fast you go should depend on your pet’s age, health, and stamina. You don’t want to overdo it, especially in hot weather. Let Fido set the pace, and head back in when he starts to look tired. In summer, you’ll need to take care to keep him off hot surfaces, so he doesn’t burn his paws.
Swimming can be a great way to beat that summer heat. It’s also great exercise for an aging pooch. The water will support Fido’s weight, taking the stress off of his bones and joints. That said, not all of our canine friends are well-suited for the water. Golden Retrievers tend to be natural swimmers, but pugs can get into serious trouble even in shallow water. Ask your vet for advice.
Playing is just as fun and beneficial for senior dogs as it is for puppies. There are some things to keep in mind with seniors, though. Don’t encourage Fido to jump or stand too much, as that can be hard on his hips. You’ll also want to watch for signs of fatigue. As soon as your furry friend looks like he is running out of steam, end the play session and give him some water.
Fido may still enjoy exploring some of the beautiful trails and parks we have in this area. The main thing is not to push him too hard. Always bring plenty of water along for your four-legged friend, and give him frequent rest breaks. Don’t wait until your canine buddy is really tired to turn back, either: head for home as soon as he starts slowing down.
Do you have questions about caring for a senior dog? Please feel free to contact us, your veterinarian in Wickenburg, AZ, and the surrounding communities, anytime!