Our senior pups may not move as fast as they used to, but regular exercise and walks can help keep their weight down and the joints happy. That's important for older dogs, who may suffer from arthritis. Staying active can also provide older dogs with mental stimulation, which combats the effects of dementia. Be sure to check with your vet before taking a senior pup on a long walk, especially if your dog has trouble moving around.
Care Tips Senior Dogs: Best Ways to Walk Your Senior Dogs
1 - Prepare For The Weather
As your dog ages, it may take longer for him to warm up, and he may experience chills and more frequent bouts of arthritis. So the first thing you want to do is be aware of the weather conditions. If it's too hot, too cold, too rainy, or too windy, don't go out. Bring your dog inside and give him his favorite toy or chew.
2 - Use a Leash or Harness
Though some dogs don't need leashes, never take your dog off-leash in public. If he runs away and gets lost, you can't call for help to find him. And if he gets into traffic, there's no way to protect him. If you don't want to use a leash on your dog, consider buying a harness.
3 - Take Shorter but More Frequent Walks
If your dog is older, you may want to take shorter walks more frequently. This helps keep your dog mentally stimulated and worn out before bedtime.
It's also easier to get up early if you know you're going for a walk. Make sure your dog is getting enough exercise during the day.
4 - Take Breaks
If your dog is older, you may need to take breaks along the way. Watch for signs that he needs a break. If he's panting or limping, or if he seems out of breath, slow down. And make sure to avoid walking your dog in hot weather, as it may be too much of a strain on his body.
5 - Avoid Long Walks After Meals
After your dog has been fed, wait 30-40 minutes before taking him out on a walk. Cooking releases fumes, and they can get into your beloved dog's lungs. Wait until the fumes dissipate before you take him on a walk to prevent vomiting, nausea, and discomfort.
6 - Make Sure the Surface Is Easy to Walk on
As your dog gets older, his joints and bones will be more sensitive. Long grass and gravel can get caught in his paws and lead to cuts, sores, and infections. Also, try to avoid walking on tough concrete or pavement, both of which can be hard on your dog's joints.
Keep in mind that dogs that suffer from arthritis may have difficulty climbing stairs or jumping fences. Be mindful of this as you plan your walks.
A long walk is a great way to get fit, stay healthy, and provide your dog with mental stimulation if he's healthy and ready for exercise! Best of all, you both get to spend some quality time together. And that's what it all comes down to, right? So go ahead and enjoy a walk with your favorite furry buddy!
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