Like older people, senior dogs need regular exercise in moderation. Just remember:
- Slow it down. Although regular exercise is important at any age, an older dog may need more frequent, shorter walks. Don’t force them to overexert themselves.
- Keep him on a leash or in a fenced area, especially if he is going deaf or his vision has deteriorated.
- Watch the thermometer. Don’t exercise your older dog outdoors in extreme heat or cold.
- Know their limits. If your senior dog has arthritis or a weak heart or lungs, be sure to consult your veterinarian about the level of exercise appropriate for his age and condition.
- Provide a comfortable place to rest. An orthopaedic bed with soft, thick padding is ideal for cushioning old bones. A heating pad under the blanket will provide added warmth. Since many older dogs can have occasional problems with urinary incontinence, avoid using electrical heating pads. A circulating warm-water heating pad is a better choice. To prevent skin burns, never place your dog directly on the heating pad.