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Because of old age, your senior dog may not be able to go for long walks or play with you for long hours like he used to. However, this doesn’t mean you should stop doing all the fun things that you used to do together. Instead, you should consider adjusting his exercise routine or find new ways to help him stay active and fit without causing him discomfort or pain.

Providing sufficient regular physical and mental exercises for our dogs go along way in improving their overall health and wellbeing. The following tips can help you get started if you’re wondering how to exercise your senior dog:

Consult Your Vet Before Starting Any Exercise Routine

Before you start a new exercise routine with your pet, it’s always a good idea to talk with your veterinarian first. He’ll be able to help you come up with the best routine for him after assessing his condition. Just make sure you write down all the questions and concerns that you may have before going for your appointment so that you don’t forget anything.

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Consider Walking Together With Your Dog Daily

Taking daily walks is not only good for your dog but you too. Besides helping you burn calories, walking also helps to strengthen the bond that the two of you share. Your senior dog may not be able to go for long walks or hikes with you anymore, but am sure he’ll enjoy a nice stroll around your neighborhood every evening or morning. If you want to keep the walks interesting, you should consider letting him lead the way. Also, give him short sniffing breaks every few minutes to stimulate him mentally.

Take Things Slow When Starting A New Exercise Routine

This is especially true for senior dogs that are obese or have joint or mobility problems. Always remember that stamina and endurance in dogs are built gradually, so start any new activity such as swimming slowly, and increase the pace and distance over time. Increasing his exercises progressively helps to avoid overexertion and injuries.
Watch your pet keenly before, during and after exercise for any signs of discomfort or pain like slowing down or limping. If there are any that you can’t handle, call your vet immediately for help.

Start Any Exercise Routine With A Warm Up

Warm-ups are not only important for humans but dogs too. If your pet has mobility issues such as arthritis, doing a few minutes of warm-ups with him will greatly help to loosen him up and get him moving. This makes subsequent exercises easier for him.

Stick With Low-Impact Exercises

High impact exercises that rely on jumping and running are bad for senior dogs with mobility issues, as they worsen their problems. So, it’s advisable that you stick to low-impact exercises such as gentle indoor plays, walking and swimming to help keep your pet active and healthy. Besides being easy on your dog’s joints, low-impact exercises can help strengthen his muscles in the long-term.

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Massage Your Senior Dog After Exercise

Lastly, you should consider massaging your senior dog after every exercise. Dogs of all ages love massage because it’s very relaxing and calming. A 10-minute massage on your dog will go along way in soothing his sore muscles after exercise while improving his blood circulation and lowering his blood pressure.

All in all, I’m sure after sometime, you’ll be able to know what exercises work best for your beloved pet. Try to combine low-impact exercises and mentally stimulating games so that he gets enough physical and mental exercises daily. Combining different exercises also help to keep things interesting and fun for him.
Most importantly, start any activity slowly while being consistent and watching him for any signs of pain or discomfort. Over time, you can increase the distance and pace of the exercise to help your dog build stamina and endurance. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to consult your vet.
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