Tips for senior dogs to be healthy and happy
We all want to be healthy and happy for as long as possible and the same rule applies to our pets as well. Usually, puppies are hyperactive and they get their exercise done when they go on their daily walks or running around your home. But as they get older they tend to get slow. By the time they reach middle age, they start to show signs of arthritis, illness, injuries and if they are overweight then these symptoms might start even earlier.
Exercising is a must for all dogs as it keeps their muscles toned and helps them maintain joint flexibility, good circulation, and overall health. But if they have other problems like arthritis, then exercising regularly can cause further problems. So it is important to maintain a healthy balance between exercise and rest for your senior dogs. Here are some tips you can follow to make sure your senior dog is happy and healthy.
1) Take them to a Vet
The first step for a healthy lifestyle is to consult a veterinarian. Get them completely checked (a full body examination), before planning their diet and exercise routine. This way you know that you are not straining your dog. Get together with the vet and plan a proper set routine. And if your dog has got serious conditions like heart disease or arthritis, ask your vet to include routines to help them improve those conditions.
2) Take it slow
Once you are set with a proper plan, make sure you implement it slowly. You cannot accomplish your target in a day or two. Take your time and make sure your dog is comfortable with small changes that you are making day by day. This is about teamwork, you work together with your dog. Be aware of your dog’s attitude, his breathing, and his heart rate. If he looks even a little bit over-exerted, stop. Do not force him to go on.
3) Physical Therapy
Try new methods like physical therapy. Ask the vet to recommend a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist (CCRT), the veterinary version of physical therapists for dogs. CCRTs design exercise programs for individual dogs to help them recover from injury and safely improve their strength, balance, and range of motion. Since these therapies target particular areas, this is much more useful in case of injured dogs.
4) Switch up the routine
Just like us, dogs need a little bit of excitement once in a while during their exercise routine. So, instead of being fixated on a single routine, try different activities like swimming, playing catch, visiting a dog park, teaching him new tricks, etc. It will not only break the mundane routine but will also help him relax once in a while.
5) Take your pet to massage
Massage works wonders; both on human and pets alike. Take your pet to the massage center or learn a few massage techniques so that you can give them a little massage at home. It relieves stiffness and joint discomfort. Have a massage session at home as a bonding time with your furry friend!
Finally, make sure to constantly monitor and re-adjust your dogs routine according to his/her needs. At the end of the day, all you need is one happy dog!