The long-awaited summer season is finally here and with it comes opportunities for fun activities with your senior pup! Yes, even older pups need exercise and entertainment to stay healthy and happy.
Instead of leaving your aging dog indoors while enjoying the summer weather, consider these modified exercises and activities!
Go on shorter, more frequent walks. Even if the level of your dog’s activity is progressively reducing, they will continue to enjoy the outdoors with you. Walking – even if it’s 30 minutes a day – is enough to prevent obesity and keep your pet’s muscles in good condition. The sights, sounds and smells of the outdoors also keep their minds alert and active.
Swimming is fun for dogs of all ages! It’s a good exercise that is low-impact and easier on their joints. Plus, it’s an excellent way to stay cool in the summer heat. Make sure there is an easy way for your dog to get out, and if there’s a risk of venturing into deep water, have your dog wear a life jacket.
When going out to meet up with friends, take your dog with you! If your dog has always been outgoing and social, be sure to find a way to maintain interactions with other humans or other dogs. Take them to a dog park or schedule some play dates with other neighborhood pups. Playing with other dogs is good exercise for your senior pup.
Take a family photo shoot. Capture happy memories with your family and your senior dog! Where are your dog’s favorite places? Shoot in several locations from their favorite nap spot in your home to your local park. For blind or deaf dogs, using treats is a good way to get them to focus on the camera. Allow plenty of time to capture your photographs – senior dogs like to move at their own rhythm which gives you the opportunity to capture sweet candid moments.
All of these activities can be modified further to comply with your dog’s needs. Additionally, if your pet has health issues that restrict their play, consult with your vet on how to change your summertime fun to fit your pet’s specific needs. Use caution when spending prolonged time outdoors with your pet in hot weather; be sure to provide them with plenty of water, shade, and an air-conditioned area to cool down.
As they get older, changes in your dog’s physical capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses are inevitable. Regardless, within your senior dog’s heart is a young puppy eager to play with you and happy to be in your life.