Senior dogs are more likely to have health conditions or other problems that might limit how much they can exercise. They tend to slow down a little or rest more, but it's still important to keep them active so they stay healthy.
Here are a few tips to follow that will apply to most senior dogs:
Keep exercise regular and gentle. This will keep your senior dog active and help their muscles and joints. Little and often is best as joints get stiffer.
Don't stop walking. Your dog might not be able to go on longer walks anymore but they still need the opportunity to get outdoors every day to sniff, stretch their legs and get some fresh air.
Keep in mind the conditions. If you are exercising your senior dog outdoors keep an eye on the weather. Older dogs don't cope as well with very high or low temperatures. You may need to walk during cooler times of day if it's hot, or buy an appropriate dog sweater when it's cold.
Try to keep to familiar routes and places. As dogs get older, they can start to lose their sight and hearing. Keeping to somewhere familiar to them will stop them becoming anxious and confused.
Be aware of your surroundings. If your dog’s sight or hearing is getting worse, sudden movements (such as cyclists coming from apparently nowhere) can take them by surprise and be quite stressful. When you notice something your dog might not, help them by stroking and reassuring them.
Go at your dog's pace. Don't rush them or try to make them exercise for longer than they are able to.
Indoor exercises will benefit your senior dog. If the weather is too hot or cold outside, it's a great idea to provide some exercise sessions inside. Puzzle toys and indoor games are a great way to keep your old dog happy and enjoy quality time together.
Always check with your vet that the level of exercise that they're getting is okay and isn't going to cause them any problems.
*This article is referenced from PDSA.