Is your canine companion starting to slow down? Are you seeing grey around Fido’s muzzle, and perhaps noticing that he isn’t as playful or energetic as he once was? Dogs don’t all age at the same rate. Large breeds can reach their golden years at just six or seven, while smaller pooches may not be seniors until they are ten or even older. Your four-legged friend will still enjoy and benefit from play as he ages. However, you will need to make some adjustments. A local Orlando, FL vet offers some insight on this below.
Older dogs don’t have the stamina of their younger counterparts. They tire out more easily, and may run out of steam after just a few minutes of playing. This is actually something to be aware of. Fido will push himself to the point of exhaustion to please his humans. Keep an eye out for any signs that your pet is getting tired. As soon as he starts slowing down, end the play session, offer water, and let your pup relax.
Choose Senior-Friendly Toys
As your canine buddy ages, his preferences for toys may change. Fido may become more interested in playing with a soft plushie than in chasing after that dot from a laser pointer. Older dogs also often like toys that light up or make noise, as these are a little easier for them to track. Keep these things in mind when shopping.
Opt For Mental Stimulation
Playing Fetch is great, but it’s by no means the only option. As your dog ages, you can start moving the focus from things that tire him out to activities that offer enrichment and stimulation. That may entail things like Hide And Seek, puzzle games, or the Three Cups game, only played with treats.
Pick A Safe Area
Slips and falls can be very dangerous for older dogs. Fido won’t have the strength or flexibility he once did, and he may not be able to right himself if he loses his balance. Choose safe spots for doggy playtime. These should be areas that offer good traction and are somewhat soft. A lawn or carpeted area is ideal.
Keep It Up
Even taking five minutes a day will benefit your pet both mentally and physically. Dogs tend to do best on steady routines. Fido will appreciate the fun, and enjoy spending time with you.
Is your canine buddy due for an exam? Contact us, your local Orlando, FL pet hospital, today!