Exercising a Senior Dog

Exercising a senior dog is essential if it is to thrive and lead a healthy life. When dogs are young, they don't need a lot of motivation to play, they will play with anything. A chew toy, a ball or even an old shoe will keep a puppy entertained for endless hours.

When dogs get older they tend to slow down. Painful joints can make it difficult for a pet to become motivated to play but allowing a dog to become sedentary will only serve to worsen their condition.

Providing your dog with the right amount of daily exercise and paying attention to his diet will help protect your dog from age related disabilities. Proper diet and preventing your dog from becoming overweight will reduce the risk of heart and joint disease in your dog as he gets older. Regular exercise helps keep a dog's joints limber and prevents him from becoming overweight.

Dogs are considered old from the age of six and their health may begin to deteriorate rapidly at this age if they are not properly taken care of. Exercising your dog at an early age will prevent many serious conditions from developing such as osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is a very painful condition that is caused by the degeneration of the dog's joints. In its more severe forms osteoarthritis can prevent the dog from moving and eating as he becomes unable to bend to eat and drink. This can result in a dehydrated and malnourished dog.

Exercising a senior dog, also strengthens it's cardiovascular system making him less likely to suffer from heart and lung disease. Exercise helps control your pet's weight and strengthens his immune system which can protect him from liver and kidney failure.

Physical exercise also stimulates your dog's brain which aids in preventing senility. Physical activity helps your dog process oxygen properly through improved circulation and this in turn helps provide oxygen to your dog's brain and system.

Devising a Program for Exercising a Senior Dog

Devising the appropriate exercise program for your dog's age and physical condition should be done carefully. Your vet should be able to assist you in this and together you should be able to come up with a regular and consistence exercise schedule for your senior dog.

Even dogs with joint problems can sometimes benefit from light exercise but this should always be done under the supervision and specific instructions of your vet.

If your aging dog suddenly becomes reclusive or shies away from contact you should get him examined by the vet right away, this could be a sign of pain. Coughing or panting when climbing the stairs can signal heart problems and you should take your dog to the vet to be examined. Any sudden change in your senior dog warrants a trip to the vet.

Don't dismiss changes in behavior as part of the aging process, dogs don't age overnight! There are a lot of things you can do to help your dog age comfortable and gracefully. Exercising your dog daily at a young age is one of the best things you can do for your dog's long term health. It is one of the best possible investments you can make to help your dog in his senior years.

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