By Kelly Marshall
Let’s say you recently adopted a senior dog at the local shelter and named him Peppy. What if this dog has led an inactive life and has never exercised a day in his life?
Well you’ll be happy to know that it’s never too late to get your new friend back on the road to great health.
While it might not add many years to his life, it will certainly make the years that he has left more enjoyable and most of all healthier.
It’s a good rule of thumb to have your veterinarian give your new senior dog a thorough checkup, and let the vet know of your intentions to start a physical fitness regime. This will let the doctor help you create a safe program for your canine.
Senior dogs are more sensitive to weather extremes, and will often have stiffer joints, so starting slow is important.
Take your dog for a checkup
Your veterinarian will probably recommend that you start off by walking your new senior dog for 5 minutes, 3 times a week, and gradually increase from there.
The beauty of exercising senior dogs is that they will see visible results faster than their younger counterparts. They will feel better almost immediately.
When walking your new dog, be sure you pay close attention to his or her breathing. If it becomes labored, it’s time to stop for the day and continue tomorrow. You don’t ever want to force them into exercise, as this could do more harm than good.
It is possible to teach an old dog new tricks and this is especially true when introducing them to a new routine. Though they might be a little resistant at first, with patience they will eventually come around to your healthy way of thinking.
Just remember that they have been set in their ways of doing things for many years. Just like it’s hard to teach a human a new routine when they’re set in their ways, the same goes for a senior dog.
Keep your senior dog active
If you have had your dog and he or she is now entering their senior years, it is important to keep them active even when you see them slowing down.
Of course, this does not mean you begin an exercise regimen that is too hard for the dog, but you want to make sure he or she is getting some walking in on a daily basis.
The important thing to remember is dogs, just like people, may develop osteoarthritis, which is a wear and tear of the joint cartilage. This makes them very stiff and makes it harder for them to get up after laying down.
If you keep your dog active (for his age), that mobility will help reduce pain and stiffness.
It is vital to make sure you keep your senior dog active, regardless if you have had him since a puppy or adopted him as a senior.
Keeping his joints moving will help him to be more active and pain-free for longer.
Kelly Marshall is a featured author on Oh My Dog Supplies. For more articles by Kelly visit Oh My Dog Supplies.