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Playing With a Senior Dog

Have you noticed your aging dog becoming less playful? This is perfectly normal. As Fido grows older, he’ll slow down, and become more interested in naps than playtime. However, your pooch will still need regular activity to stay healthy. A local Washington DC vet discusses playing with an older dog below. 

Toys

Did you know that you can find toys that were made specifically for senior dogs? Some of these are very soft, which makes them easy for Fido to catch and carry. Others light up or make noise. Puzzle toys are also a great option for older dogs. Be sure to rotate your pet’s things regularly, so he doesn’t get bored with them. 

Timing

Dogs tend to thrive on routine. Try to play with your canine buddy at the same time each day. Even a few minutes of playtime and exercise will be beneficial!

Unsafe Activities

Doggy workouts are definitely not one size fits all. With older dogs, you don’t really want to encourage them to jump or stand on their back legs too much, as it can strain their hips and back. If Fido has dental issues, keep this in mind as well. Ask your vet for specific recommendations. 

Areas

Choose a spot where Fido won’t hurt himself if he falls. A soft lawn or carpeted room is fine. Avoid areas with potential dangers, such as fireplaces, stairwells, or pools.

Fatigue

When Fido was a puppy, he may have been able to run and play for hours. (It can be tiring even watching young dogs race around!) However, by the time your furry friend reaches his golden years, he’ll have slowed down quite a bit, and won’t have the stamina he once did. Keep a close eye out for signs that your canine companion is getting tired, such as panting or slowing down. Immediately stop the game if it looks like your pet is running out of steam. This is very important, as dogs will push themselves to please their humans. 

Mind Games

Once your furry pal becomes elderly, running and jumping may be too much for him. Puzzle games are great options for older pooches! Hide and Seek, the Three Cups game, and other childhood favorites can all be reworked for Fido. 

Please contact us, your Washington DC vet clinic, for all your senior dog’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help! 

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