November is Adopt A Senior Pet Month! More and more people are discovering that older dogs make absolutely wonderful pets. One reason that pooches in their golden years are such great companions is the fact that they’re naturally very sweet and calm. Fido will have outgrown his zoomies, and will spend a huge chunk of his time napping. Of course, you don’t want to let him become a complete couch potato. A Carolina Forest, SC vet discusses keeping Fido active below.
The Importance Of Exercise
Making sure your furry pal is getting proper exercise is extremely important. Fido will naturally lose muscle mass over time. Just like people, pups need to move it or lose it, as far as muscle goes. If your four-legged friend’s muscles become too weak, he’ll become frail, and may become susceptible to falls or sprains. Exercise also helps prevent arthritis, and can keep your canine buddy at a healthy weight.
Slips and falls are a big concern with older dogs. If Fido still enjoys playing Fetch or chasing that elusive red spot from a laser pointer, by all means indulge him. Just stick to safe areas with good traction. Grassy lawns or rooms with thick rugs or carpets are good options. That way, if your furry friend does slip, he’ll land on something soft.
All of our canine pals are unique, so you’ll want to get some specific instructions from your vet. Don’t encourage Fido to jump or stand on his back legs: this puts a lot of strain on his hips. For many dogs, a simple walk will do just fine. Weather permitting, your pooch can also go swimming. This is actually a great option for dogs in their golden years. The water will support his weight, taking the strain off his bones and joints.
Older dogs are more sensitive to hot or cold weather than younger pooches are. Keep Fido’s workouts and play sessions indoors when it’s hot or cold out.
Take care not to overexert your furry bff. Fido may push himself if he thinks it will please you. Look for signs of fatigue, such as panting or slowing down. If you notice any, end playtime and let him take a nap.
Do you have questions about your senior dog’s exercise needs? Contact us, your local Carolina Forest, SC animal clinic, today!