It feels like from one day to the next your dog lets himself fall back during the walk. One or the other movement becomes more difficult. Your dog is tired faster. old dog
Nevertheless, he needs exercise.
You can also see it in humans: older people who have been active all their lives and make sure to exercise regularly even in old age stay fit and agile longer and get sick less often. The development and progression of diseases such as osteoarthritis and spondylosis can thus be positively influenced. In addition, you avoid that your dog loses muscle and mobility is limited. The cardiovascular system also needs exercise. The only exception is: your dog has been prescribed strict rest.
Nevertheless, it is normal that the body tires more quickly with advancing age and takes longer to regenerate. The performance of the cardiovascular system and also the performance of the musculoskeletal system decreases. The joints have one or the other arthrosis, the musculature becomes weaker. If we now insist that the four-legged friend completes the same amount of exercise as an adult dog, we are overtaxing him. His joints become overloaded and ache. His muscles tense. The heart has to perform better than it can. Your dog is exhausted and spent.
How to move my dog without overloading it
Your dog’s exercise should be adapted to his age and state of health. Varied walks are also important and do him good. It helps an older dog a lot if instead of taking two big walks a day, you take him on several shorter walks. The continuous movement is good for your dog and the recovery periods after the walk are significantly shortened. In short, your dog exhausts less and can better manage his energy.
During walks, always make sure your dog doesn’t get out of breath. He should not start to limp or fall back. Make sure walks are finished before he shows signs of exhaustion.
How you feel has a decisive influence on the amount of exercise you do
As your dog ages, his condition can fluctuate weekly and sometimes even daily. Therefore, it makes sense for you to become more flexible yourself in arranging activities with your dog. Thus, in one day, he may manage a walk of 30 minutes wonderfully and full of energy. The next day possibly tired after only 15 minutes. You should accept that. Don’t push him to do a regular certain workload. Then use the time for joint relaxation and occupation for the head. It is not always easy to accept that our four-legged friend is getting older and can no longer be as active as he once was.
However, there are enough ways and possibilities to experience exciting and unforgettable moments even with a senior. We should enjoy these moments in our daily lives with our senior dog – because they are so precious.
Exciting walks – brevity is the spice of life
There is nothing worse for a senior than walking the same short distance day in and day out because “he can’t do it anymore”. After all, we don’t read the same newspaper every day. It’s all about fun and excitement, variety and joy! Joie de vivre! This can also be experienced on short distances.
Pack your dog in the car and drive to places where he liked to run before. Drive to the lake, go for a walk in the forest or run across fields. Let him notice these wonderful smells and let him hold his nose to the wind! The exciting environment will motivate him to move.
Tension on the “Standard Round
It is not always possible to avoid running the same or similar lap. That is no reason to do this walk as a compulsory exercise. Even for your “everyday” rounds, there are exercises that will not only challenge your dog mentally, but you will also be doing something for your dog’s agility. You have bollards on your walk? Let your dog walk around them. Curbs or other elevations? Great! You can take your dog down and back up alternately. These exercises are good for flexibility and coordination.
All of this can happen very slowly and at your dog’s pace, and always in a healthy dosage as well. It’s not about speed . It’s all about fun, excitement, variety and movement. In the forest, you can let your dog climb over branches or walk around tree stumps. This way you do something for his mobility. The different surfaces in the forest and in the field are a good balance and coordination training. They also train body awareness.
By the way, for a pain-ridden dog with arthritis, a soft, elastic surface like in the forest is much more pleasant than hard, rigid asphalt. You see, there’s no reason to be depressed that it’s no longer the big and extensive walks. There are so many ways to have fun with your dog, even on shorter trips, and keep him fit and moving.
I hope you and your dog enjoy trying these tips for spicing up your walk with a senior dog!
All the love, your Tina