Is your canine companion starting to slow down? Fido tends to be very active and energetic as a puppy, but he runs out of zoom as he grows older. Playing is still fun and beneficial for older dogs: you may just need to go about it a bit differently. An Apple Valley, MN vet offers some advice on playing with a senior dog below.
Choose Appropriate Toys
Fido’s needs will change over time … and so will his taste in toys. Older dogs often prefer softer toys, which are gentler on their mouths.
Consult Your Vet
As Fido ages, you’ll need to make some adjustments to his exercise routine. For instance, your vet may advise you not to encourage your canine buddy to jump or stand on his back legs. Brachycephalic dogs get winded very easily, and should not be encouraged to run. Get some professional advice!
Pick A Good Spot
Slips and falls can be quite dangerous for older dogs. Play with Fido on a soft lawn or carpeted area. That way, if your furry buddy does take a spill, there’s less risk of him hurting himself. Stay away from potentially hazardous areas, such as spots near steep hills, stairs, pools, and fireplaces.
Offer Brain Games
Mental stimulation is just as important for older dogs as physical exercise. Start incorporating games that challenge Fido’s mind. Hide and Seek is a fun one. You can also play puzzle games or a doggy version of the Three Cups game.
Monitor The Pup
On some days, Fido may tap out very quickly. At other times, he may really want to let his inner puppy out. Let him pick the pace. Keep in mind that dogs will push themselves to please their humans. Don’t let your canine pal overexert himself! Watch for signs that Fido is starting to get tired, such as panting or slowing down. As soon as your pooch seems fatigued, end the session and let him recharge. Water, a nap, and a belly rub should do it!
Have Fun With It
Dogs somehow manage to get even cuter and sweeter as they age. Savor this special time with your furry best friend! These moments and memories are truly precious.
As your Apple Valley, MN animal clinic, we’re dedicated to offering great veterinary care. Please contact us for all your pup’s needs.