Senior dogs have different needs than younger pups. After your beloved family pet turns 7, your dog is considered senior, and with age sometimes comes health and mobility issues. At The Old Dog House, we understand it can be difficult to judge how often to give your senior dog exercise, so we’ve outlined some ideas to help you develop an exercise regimen for your older pet.
- Determine if your pet is suffering medical issues: As dogs age, they often develop medical conditions that limit their mobility. Such issues include osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia, muscle or heart diseases. Just like humans, senior dogs can slip on toys or wet floors, causing injuries that affect their ability to exercise. Make sure to keep toys tidy and watch your house and yard for anything that could cause your dog to fall.
- Figure out if your dog is under or overweight: Excess weight puts pressure on the vital organs and can lead to a wide variety of health problems including diabetes, heart disease or thyroid issues. Underweight dogs may become malnourished, giving them less energy to run, walk or play. If your pet is under or overweight, talk to your veterinarian before offering a new diet plan.
- Interact with other animals: Engage your pet’s mind with social activities. While the dog park might be a little too much excitement for an older dog, play dates with other senior dogs help keep your dog’s mind sharp. If you can’t find other dogs for some social time, invite human friends to visit your senior pet.
- Talk to your veterinarian: Your pet’s health is vital throughout his or her life span, but it is especially important to keep those veterinarian appointments on a regular schedule as your dog ages. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recommends two visits to the vet per year for senior dogs.
- Try swimming: Getting into the water is a great way to move a senior dog’s joints. Swimming is a great supplement for dogs with a limited ability to walk or run. Because it is non weight bearing, even dogs with joint issues can take a paddle. Swimming is very therapeutic for senior dogs, so The Old Dog House is raising funds to build a pool just for the old dogs. Click here to learn more about our pool fund and how we hope to make it a community resource or tap here to donate.
The Old Dog House is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) charitable organization located in Jacksonville, Florida, dedicated to giving older and senior dogs a second chance at a new life. At so many shelters, the age of a dog determines its chances of reaching the adoption floor to find a new forever home.As a result, many wonderful dogs are denied the ability to live out their lives in dignity, surrounded by love. The Old Dog House aims to enlighten the public to the joys of owning an older or senior dog through educational programs and to place rescued dogs into true forever homes through adoption programs. The dogs that come into the care of The Old Dog House will remain in our care until adopted. We rely solely on donations from the public to support our organization. 100% of donations received are used for the care and rehabilitation of the dogs at The Old Dog House. Every penny makes a difference and is greatly appreciated!