6 Fitness Tips For Your Senior Dog

Exercise in dogs maintains and improves muscle tone as well as burning calories to keep excess weight off. Both of these help in improving your senior dog’s quality of life. Just because your dog is a little older, it doesn’t mean that you stop exercising. The following are 6 exercise options for your senior dog.

Run

Even though it’s quite an intense form of exercise, you need not abandon it without a good reason. Dogs love running and it provides them with calorie burning and cardiovascular benefits that keep your dog feeling young. It is however advisable to consult your vet first if it is okay to run with your senior dog. If you get your vet’s approval make sure to look out for signs of fatigue in the dog such as excessive panting.

Walk

If your senior dog cannot run, then walk instead. Walking is probably the most popular form of dog exercise for a good reason. It is easy to do, low impact and it does not require use of specialized equipment. Always ensure that you find a pace which your senior dog can comfortably handle.

Gravity Use

Hills will help keep your senior dog in shape. The hill’s incline may be used to target the dog’s back or front legs, depending on whether you are heading downhill or uphill. You may choose on which part to focus on either the front or back legs.

Swimming

This is a good, low impact exercise for dogs. It provides both development of muscles as well as cardiovascular benefits. The only limitations for swimming are actually getting places to do it, i.e. a pool as well as the need to bathe the dog more frequently.

Balance Exercises

Senior dogs, just like human beings can have their balance deteriorate. This is why it is important to ensure that they get good balance exercises. The side step is a great example of a balance exercise for senior dogs. It has great benefit but is also low impact.

Range of Motion Exercises

These exercises will help your senior dog better move around. The reach stretch is often used as a warm up. Get your dog to sit down and having a treat in your hand, let them follow your hand moving away from them followed by side to side. To get a really good stretch, you can even move it towards their flank. The effectiveness of this exercise depends on the ability of your dog to remain seated.

Give your dog some daily exercise and it will be healthier and live longer.

Mark Mansfield
 

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