Playtime: Senior Dogs

Is there any face more dear than the graying muzzle of an elderly dog?  Just because a dog is getting a little older doesn’t mean he can’t still have fun playing! In fact, your older dog probably loves to spend time with you more than ever.
Benefits of Play Many senior dogs tend to be a little on the chubby side as they get older. Enjoying some good exercise with you can help them keep their weight in check. Getting in some mild exercise and spending time for play is a good way to help your dog stay active and promote better joint mobility and circulation. Plus, dogs love the thrills of play no matter what their age. Keeping them interested in every day life promotes a longer, healthier life span.
Safe Play With minor modifications, you can continue to pursue the same kinds of activities with your older dog that he enjoyed when he was younger. If you liked to take long walks, take walks with your senior dog, just shorten them a bit. If your dog loved to catch the frisbee, give him some easy tosses to catch.  If your dog loved to go hiking with you, set out with him on a short, easy hike instead of some of the harder treks you used to take. Swimming is also wonderful exercise for older dogs. It’s excellent for dogs with any arthritis or hip problems and most dogs find it very relaxing. Spend some time tossing a ball for your older dog and teaching him some new, fun games in your backyard. The important thing is that you and your older dog are getting to spend some time together and your dog is staying active and having fun.  Just keep in mind that his current physical condition will probably restrict some of the things he can do now. Don’t overtax your older dog or encourage him to do something where he might injure himself. 
On hot days, bring the play indoors. Try playing in a carpeted area so your dog has good traction. Spend a little time playing fetch. Try a wrestling game. Teach your dog to play hide-and-seek with some of his favorite treats as rewards. Our aging pups are very special, so try to do all you can to keep them happy and healthy. Remember that gentle play and mild exercise can be very beneficial for your dog. In many cases they can help your dog live longer, healthier lives. Don't let the grey hairs fool you, your senior dog is still a little pup at heart! Enjoy playtime! For more tips on Senior dogs visit petfinder.com.
You can read about the beautiful dogs of Peru on our post Dogs Of Peru.


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