If you have a senior dog, you know that they have quite a lot of love left to give. But while they’re still puppies at heart, these aging canines may not be able to romp around and play quite as roughly as they did during their younger years. That’s okay—slowing down is a natural result of getting older, both for people and for pups. With a healthy lifestyle and the right support, your older dog can spend more happy years by your side. We’ve put together some ideas for fun activities to keep senior dogs engaged while keeping their unique needs in mind.
Visit a Dog Beach
Older dogs tend to lose some mobility or develop joint stiffness as they age, but everything is dependent on your canine’s breed and unique condition. You may have a seven-year-old Chihuahua that can’t make it down the block or a 12-year-old lab that will bound around all day. Keep an eye on his mobility and make sure to talk to your vet about his needs and the amount of exercise he can comfortably get each day.
If he still enjoys a good run or walk, switch your normal route up by taking a trip to a dog-friendly beach. He’ll have a blast bounding through the waves or sniffing that salt air. Just make sure you clean up after him! And if you don’t have a lakeshore or ocean nearby, you can at least change up your walking route to give your furry friend some new scents and environments to check out.
Teach a New Trick
Contrary to popular belief, an old dog can, in fact, learn new tricks! Maybe you’ve adopted a new senior friend that needs to learn the house rules, or you just need a fun way to mentally stimulate your pal that doesn’t require too much energy. Whatever the case, training is a great way to go back to those puppy days, refresh the basics, and bond with your senior dog. As an added bonus, older dogs can focus for longer periods of time than puppies, so your training sessions can be longer and more productive!
Pick up a Few Dog Puzzle Toys
Dog puzzle toys are a fantastic low-energy option for keeping your old friend engaged while you’re out of the house. Whether you fill a plethora of indestructible dog toys with peanut butter and set him to licking or introduce a more complex treat dispenser, these options are sure to occupy him when he might otherwise be bored and alone. Just be sure that none of them have sharp edges! The best dog toys will entertain your pup for hours while minimizing any potential damage to him or your home.
Depending on your canine companion’s health and energy levels, you may need to put down the tough dog toys in favor of something softer. If his teeth aren’t looking so good or he’s slowing down in his old age, consider substituting that rough rope for a plush toy that can make for a gentler game of tug of war when you’re home and he’s ready to play.
Go to a Pet-Friendly Patio
If your older pup loves snoozing or just being around people, get some fresh air by visiting your favorite pet-friendly brewery or restaurant. During the warmer months, you can set up at a patio table and let your buddy lounge in the sun while you chat with friends or get some work done. Chances are that she’ll get plenty of attention from your fellow patrons, leaving her feeling happy and loved. And while most older dogs are fairly well-behaved and won’t wander away in a strange environment, be sure to keep her on a leash for her safety.
Take Your Pup for a Drive
If your dog can’t walk very far, take her for a drive instead! Strap her in with a canine seatbelt for safety, roll down your window, and go for a cruise through your neighborhood or a more rural area with plenty of interesting scents for her to smell. If she is going to be sticking her head out of the window, you may want to invest in some dog goggles (doggles!) to protect her eyes from any flying debris. You can also stop by a dog-friendly park or trail on the way and go for a short walk before hopping back in the car and heading home.
Supporting Your Senior Dog’s Health
In addition to coming up with fun activities for geriatric dogs, you should also be feeding your canine companion an appropriate senior diet and seeing your vet for regular checkups in order to catch any emerging health issues. Preventative care is the best method for keeping your dog happy and healthy, and we’re dedicated to providing the perfect complement to all your efforts.
At Wapiti Labs, we create high-quality supplements made with natural ingredients to support a variety of your dog’s natural bodily functions. Whether she needs an energy boost or a little extra mobility support in her old age, we can help. We’re always happy to answer questions, so give us a call today to learn more about how our supplements can support your furry friend’s health and happiness!