Walking Your Senior Dog
Walking your senior dog is so important for fresh air, mental stimulation, exercise and socialisation and it can become a bit more difficult to do so when your dog is in their senior years.
Our lovely Dr Ashlee has provided some helpful tips on how you can make walking fun again for your dog in their senior years.
1. Have an Exit Plan
When walking your oldie, it can be difficult to predict when they might decide they have had enough, so it can be helpful for you to create an exit plan, whether that be by using a trolley or doggie pram, or just having someone available to pick you up if need be.
2. Keep Your Walking Distance Short
The easiest way to prevent your oldie burning out or giving up on their walks is to make sure you are keeping the distances short and sweet, if you feel they may be up for more, slowly increase the distance as they gain confidence.
3. Limit Changes in Walking Terrain
Walking your oldie can be made easier by choosing a nice smooth walking track with limited hills, to make it a bit more easy going for their joints and cardiac health.
4. Avoid Weather Extremes
Another easy way to make walks more fun, is to make sure you are walking your senior dog in optimal weather conditions. This means not walking them in the middle of the day during summer, as well as not walking them in the freezing cold, and just finding that balance between weather extremes.
5. Incorporate a Gentle Swim (if appropriate)
Sometimes a nice, supervised swim in the pool, beach or river can be a nice addition to walks with your oldie (if they like water, that is!). This can be a nice refresh for them, and swimming also helps to reduce stress, pain and can help to ease some age-related limitations.
6. Avoid Too Much Concrete
When walking your senior dog, it can be beneficial to avoid concrete if possible, as the hard landing can be a bit harsh on their joints, so grass is a great alternative where possible.
7. Keep A Slow Pace
Your precious oldies can’t walk as fast and as well as they once could, so it is important to remember to slow down your pace and just make sure your senior dog is not exerting themselves to keep up.
For more tips and tricks, speak to your regular veterinarian or contact our friendly team to organise a consultation with one of our palliative vets – let’s make walks fun again!