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Slow down – activities with the dog senior – when interests and needs change

Dein Hund wird älter und wird ruhiger? Ich gebe dir wertvolle Tipps für gemeinsame Aktivitäten mit deinem Hundesenior.

As our dogs get older, their interests change, but so does the “pace” at which they travel and engage in activities. We are often very saddened by this, but it is also a bit like us humans, isn’t it? When I was 20, I thought it was great to go out Thursday through Sunday nights. During the day, of course, there was always something to experience. And Monday, yeah, I was actually pretty fit most of the time. Despite little sleep and many activities. Today, to be honest, I often ask myself how I managed that. If it’s late one night, I’m tired the next day. So much “Realtalk” from my reality with currently 42 years. But back to our dogs, because that’s what it’s all about. Dog senior

Dog senior – From power package to connoisseur

When dogs are young or in younger adulthood, they are bursting with energy and get excited about just about anything. So much so that we have to slow them down and make sure they get enough rest and they don’t get overwhelmed and overworked. But at some point there comes a point – no actually it is a creeping process – where this changes. Our dogs are starting to take more time to do things. The older they get, the slower they go about things. I think they are also becoming more conscious in what they are doing.

Their interests are also changing. This is something that is completely normal and we as dog people should accept and support it. Your dog may not have as much fun or the power to dash around the agility course anymore, but surely other things are fun for him. Perhaps the 3-hour hike over rough terrain is too strenuous for him. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t enjoy being out in nature with you anymore.

We humans often find it difficult to allow the needs of the dog to change

We humans tend to pursue the usual activities with our dogs as long as it is somehow possible. Somehow, we often don’t want to admit to ourselves that the dog can’t physically handle it anymore. Or possibly no longer really enjoys it. Only when it is no longer possible, we accept this (Most of us, anyway. I have also seen the opposite.) Hundesenior

Why is that?

I think it’s a lot of fear. Afraid that our dog will grow old. The underlying awareness that our dogs’ lives are finite. That is human and completely normal. But it doesn’t help your dog to block out his aging. On the contrary. In the worst case, it can harm his health if you do not pay sufficient attention to his physical needs. Practice acceptance and gratefully embrace your dog’s aging process. I know that sounds terribly “turgid.” And I’m not one to talk lightly either. There are days when it is easy for me, in other moments it hurts me to see that Tessa is getting olderHundesenior

What is the right way?

Otherwise I always say “many roads lead to Rome”. As our dogs get older and their bodies begin to change, there is only one right way: be considerate of them and act according to their needs.

Activities for the senior dog – What does that mean in concrete terms?

To me, it means that we draw from a wealth of possibilities to create life and activities with our dogs. I would be happy to give you a few suggestions here: Senior dog

Nose work

Even if mobility is not at its best, or a senior dog is having a worse day, nose work actually always works. You can offer them to him in different forms e.g.:

  • Finding treats hidden in the house or yard, hiding treats in a box with crumpled paper and having them pick them out, or sniffing rugs. With the latter, your dog can even sniff and search for the treats while lying down.
  • Mantrailing also uses the dog’s nose and you can do it incredibly well even with an older dog, as it is very adaptable to your dog’s physical needs.
  • Detecting smells is also a nice way for our dogs to use their noses.

What I really like about nose work is that you can make it a joint activity with your dog.

Intelligence toys

Of course, this is also about getting treats, but at the same time your dog has to think and develop a strategy to get them. Intelligence games are available for beginners but also for very experienced dogs. Be careful not to overwork your dog. Nice side effect: not only the brain is trained, but usually also the fine motor skills.

Conscious walks dog senior

Maybe your dog can’t manage to walk with you for 3 hours anymore. But still he loves to be out in nature. On the one hand, this stimulates his brain, and on the other, it keeps him mobile. Consciously focus on slowness. Take your time on your walks and let your dog sniff everything in peace. Dallying is allowed. I also like to take Tessa to a different place for a walk or go a new way. This provides variety, even if the round is not so large. Take breaks on your walk. This is not only good for your dog, but also for you. Take time to be aware of your surroundings, recharge your batteries before moving on.

Canine society

As dogs age, they are usually not as interested in full-body play with other dogs. What many do appreciate, however, is being able to walk with other dogs. Make sure your canine walking companion is fine with your dog and vice versa, and that it’s pace-wise. Now, these were just a few points on how you can design activities with your senior dog. There are, of course, many more. It is always important that you choose those that your dog enjoys and that fit his physical needs. Dog senior

Dog fitness training

For me indispensable and suitable even for very old dogs is the dog fitness training. You can always adapt the exercises individually to your dog, promote and maintain his mobility and also his head works with. Plus, you’ll have a wonderful activity together that you can do regularly in the comfort of your own home. Dog senior

Wellness and well-being moments

Being consciously together gives your dog so much. A soothing massage is something most senior dogs really enjoy. It not only relaxes and does good to the soul. It also relieves muscular tension and also joint pain.

What activities does your senior dog love most? Feel free to share them with us in the comments! Dog senior

All the love, your Tina

Dieser Beitrag ist auch verfügbar auf: Français (French) Deutsch (German) Español (Spanish)

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