Active dogs are healthy and happy dogs. Being active keeps your dog’s body and mind in shape. It promotes cardiovascular health, proper weight, and mental well-being. However as your dog ages, it can be harder to keep them active. It’s still an important part of their health, though, especially for dogs like Cavaliers which are prone to heart issues. Here are some tips to keep our senior dogs active dogs.
Active Dogs – It’s All Relative
Just like us, as dogs age, their ability to be as active as they used to be diminishes. That doesn’t mean they don’t need to be active, it just means that they can’t be AS active. A common mistake people make in an effort to ensure their pooches remain active is trying to get their 12 year old dog to do what it did when it was 2. It’s just not going to happen, so we need to think of ways to keep them active without overdoing it.
3 Tips to Keep Senior Dogs Active
Even senior dogs can go for a walk, albeit it might be a short one. Keeping senior dogs active dogs requires a balance of activity and extreme moderation. If your dog is older, and they don’t have the same pep they used to, just take them for short walks. You know your dog and how much they can do, but even a walk up and down the driveway is better than nothing. Plus you can always work your way back up to more exercise in the Spring or Fall when the temperature outside is more moderate and there are fun things to see and smell!
Generally speaking, even the oldest dog can be coaxed into playing at least a little bit. If your senior dog has a favorite toy, bring it out and try to get them to have a 5 minute play session. Just tugging on a rope, dragging their favorite stuffed animal around, or playing a short game of fetch for a few minutes is enough to keep the blood pumping somewhat. It also stimulates their mind.
Swimming is excellent exercise for dogs, even older dogs. This is best done in a walk-in pool, on the beach, or in a creek with a shallow grade. You just need something that allows your pooch to easily get in and out. A super short swim for an older dog can be wonderful for cardiovascular health as well as their joints.
If you have a Cavalier or another breed of similar size, you can just carry them into the water and hold them in your arms. Generally speaking, when dogs come into contact with water, they instinctively start doing the dog paddle. With a small or smallish breed dog, you can just hold them and let them paddle in your arms for a bit but don’t over do it. Even if they are having fun 5 – 10 minutes of paddling around followed by relaxing in the cool water for maybe 15 minutes is enough. You will want to remove your dog from the water for at least an hour before their next swim.
Make Sure Your Dogs are Active Dogs
Because active dogs are healthy, happy dogs. I know with seniors this can be difficult, especially if you have a guy or girl who sleeps 18 hours a day, but any little thing you can do to keep them moving helps. Just remember, don’t over do it. It’s important to have active dogs, but it’s also important not to tax their little bodies. These tips should help you keep your dogs active without doing too much.
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