Exercising Older Dogs

Older DogWith a good diet, regular exercise, and veterinary care, a dog can live from 8 to 18 years. Small dogs tend to have the longest lifespans, large dogs the shortest. At seven is when dogs are considered senior.  If in good health, dogs this ages may still energetic and playful, but this is the time to schedule exams to look at conditions that occur as dogs age including

Older dogs have special needs, but they do indeed need to exercise. You need to take a little more care so they don’t hurt themselves. There are certain conditions that can arise, that you want to watch out for.

Senior Conditions

Some senior dog conditions that can arise that you should look out for that can get in the way of exercise or that exercise can make worse.

  1. Heart disease
  2. Diabetes
  3. Joint disease like arthritis.
  4. Bone disease like hip dysplasia.
  5. General weakness.
What Do You Notice?

Older dogs that are experiencing senior health issues may display certain signs. Does your dog appear to be stiff when getting up, walking, or first thing in the morning? If any changes in your pet’s behavior are noticed, please consult your veterinarian.

Exercise and Older Dogs

It is important to keep your dog moving all his or her life. Exercise is still a very important part of the daily schedule of  older dogs

  • Weight gain in geriatric dogs increases the risk of health problems, regular exercise continues keep dogs at a healthy weight.
  • Keeping older pets mobile through appropriate exercise helps keep them healthier and more mobile.
  • Pets can show signs of senility. Stimulating them through interactions can help keep them mentally active.
  • Difficulty breathing, Decreased tolerance of exercise and coughing may be signs of heart disease.

Depending on your dog’s personality, he or she may resist a walk some days. Check out your dog’s condition with your vet, but as long as they are healthy maintain an exercise regimen. Work with your dog’s energy level, but do get in a regular walk!