How to Exercise your Senior Dog

By June 08 | See Comments

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How to Exercise your Senior Dog
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As a dog ages, he loses the ability to run fast, jump high and do other physically strenuous activities. Exercise can help senior dogs retain mobility. By providing safe ways to work their joints, you can make sure that your pet does not suffer from bone-related injuries and diseases.

What happens when a dog ages?

As they grow old, dogs begin to lose the strength in their bones. Just like humans, dogs can suffer from diseases such as arthritis and osteoarthritis. Here, the bones and cartilage start to inflame and then degenerate, which may result in the animal losing its ability to walk. By giving your pet the proper exercise it needs, you can ensure he has good quality of life. So what can you do to help your aging dog?

Basic warm-ups

The most basic exercise that will benefit your dog is walking. Start with a few minutes a day. This will help energize your pet and avoid developing stiff muscles. Another thing you can include in the warm-up session is stretching. Place a treat just outside the reach of your pet. When your dog reaches out for his treat, he will inadvertently stretch his joints and muscles. Walking backwards and side-stepping are other exercises that you can include.Static stretching is another helpful technique. When your dog is stationary, gently stretch his limbs. Massaging the limbs will also help improve the flow of blood and release any cramps that might be there.

Workouts your dog will benefit from

If your dog is inside the house, use the stairs to work his bones. Place a treat at the top of the stairs and have your dog climb up the stairs. You can do the same to get him to climb back down. If your dog cannot climb stairs, have wooden ramps built inside your house to help him walk.Walking is the best workout when your dog is outside the house. Add trotting and slow jogs to the mix if your dog’s joints allow it. It’s important that you consult with your veterinary doctor before you exercise your pet.

Cool down

Post-workout, it is imperative to do some cool down stretches. A sudden stop in physical activity will not only result in muscle cramps, but it may lead to an uneven breathing pattern and irregular cardiac rhythm.Go slow during the cool down phase. Use static stretching as a cool down technique. Make sure you keep water and nutrient supplements handy.Learning how to exercise old dogs and recognizing the consequences of fatiguing them will go a long way in helping you keep your pets safe. Speak to your veterinarian for advice.

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