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Some Tips on Exercises for Older Dogs

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Jessie, the fit and trim and lovable dog: Staying fit, no matter what one’s age, should be a top priority.  I keep active, not just for the sake of my health, but so I can make numerous attempts without getting winded to chase that darn cat, Bo, out of here.  If you have a senior dog and are concerned about how to get him some exercise that requires more effort than walking from the living room to the kitchen, here are a few tips:

  • Many older dogs suffer from arthritis. However, walking is a great choice of activity for them.  You don’t have to make your dog a marathoner.  Start out slowly, and if he shows any signs of fatigue, back off.  When going for walks, try to spend part of the time on grassy, uneven turf for so that the impact on his joints is reduced.
  • Go fetch!  Now, I am not suggesting you throw a curve ball at 90 mph and expect your older dog to run six blocks to retrieve it.  “Fetch” for the senior dog has new meaning when you simply roll a ball and have him retrieve it for you.  You can even do this inside.
  • Get a dental-friendly rope toy at your local pet store and engage in some tug-of-war action with your dog.  This does not have to be an aggressive endeavor.  You can play this game gently, sometimes letting your dog win to instill confidence in himself.  Plus, the pull toy provides a gentle flossing action for his teeth, and it can also strengthen his teeth, gums, and jaw.
  • If the weather is great and you have access to a pond or lake, let your dog go for a swim!  This activity reduces the painful pressure on his joints and gives your dog a freedom of movement he cannot enjoy on dry land.  (A swimming pool is not a great choice for this activity, as the slippery surface tends to freak some dogs out.)  If you are daring, jump into the water with your dog!

So…there you have it.  I have to run, as I am off to my Zumba dance class and then coffee with the girls.  (Don’t worry…..I always order the low-fat latte!)

(Thanks to for this awesome information!)


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