Age ain’t’ nothin’ but a number!
When your dog has reached his senior years – about 7 years old (67 years in human equivalent) for large breeds and 14 years old (76 years in human equivalent) for small breeds – his level of energy may be lower and he may need less exercise.
On the other hand, it really depends on the kind of dog you have. You may have one that is still energetic, driven, and very active well into his golden years. If this is the case, continue with your normal exercise on a daily basis, maybe just at a slower pace evolving as you feel he is ready to slow down.
Keeping Exercise A Top Priority
If you want your dog to stay fit, he needs exercise every day, regardless of his age. Once your canine pal reaches his old age, however, you may decrease the amount of exercise that you are giving him, but you should never stop. Many older dogs are still happy to go on long walks, fetch a ball, or swim in the river, monitor how your dog behaves on the walk and after to ascertain whether you need to shorten the exercise time or stick to flat areas, for example.
To keep your dog happy and in good physical and mental condition continue to exercise at the level you always have until your dog shows signs of tiring early, unwilling to participate etc. You know your dog better than anyone else and your close relationship will help determine when enough is enough when out walking and playing.
An Older Dogs With Injuries
If your senior dog is suffering from a joint or bone trouble, you will need to slow him down. He will still need to move and stay active, but the amount and length of exercise should be kept to a minimum.
For example, instead of doing a 3 mile walk a day, try modifying to a 1 mile walk twice a day. Swimming is another alternative exercise for dogs suffering with a hip dysplasia or other bones disorder. As ever any concerns speak to your vet.
Make Sure Their Diet Evolves
As dogs age, their diet needs may change too. It may be they gain weight quicker or it may be their age creeps up and you feel they need to lose weight to maintain a happy, and active life befitting their age.
Brandy, a 10 year old Terrier/Dachshund/Corgi cross, is the equivalent of 60 years old in human years. His owner, Suzy, was advised by her vet he should lose weight and while extra walks and less treats were a start, he didn’t lose any weight.
Brandy, before trialing Butcher’s Lean & Tasty
This led Suzy to investigate new diets and she came across Butcher’s Lean & Tasty , with 30% less fat and the same level of nutrients as the Butcher’s standard range.
Within 16 weeks, he lost 2.3kg and his owner says “I have noticed a big difference in him as he has become more energetic and playful with other dogs, he is now able to keep up and play with them, his coat has also become a lot softer.”
Brandy, after trialing Butcher’s Lean & Tasty
Brandy’s story shows the importance of making sure your dog’s diet is the best one for their needs as they age to keep them happy and healthy.
Trog, a 10 year old Rottweiler cross Labrador is the equivalent of 96 years old in human years recently lost an astonishing 8.4kg after 12 weeks on Butcher’s Lean & Tasty. Trogs’ previous diet was a dry food that his owner, Lisa, found suitable for his sensitive stomach. With age his activity level reduced and Trog began to gain weight.
Trog, before trialing Butcher’s Lean & Tasty
After 12 weeks Lisa noticed Trog was much livelier saying, “We didn’t know where to start with dieting but after a gradual change of diet from dry to wet and careful monitoring to ensure Trog was getting enough to eat and losing a healthy amount of weight per week (averaging 0.7kg),Trog’s mobility and coat condition has improved greatly”. Lisa has just introduced a new puppy to the family and Trog is able to keep up with them all.
Trog, after trialing Butcher’s Lean & Tasty
If you’re worried your dog’s diet might not be best suited for his or her needs and could benefit from a change like Brandy and Trog, visit the Butcher’s Dog Food tool online.
Keep An Eye On Him
Keep a good eye on your dog during his exercise and make sure that he is not pushing himself too hard. Dogs love to please their owners, and they will push themselves to the limit if they think that doing so will make you happy – or they may simply slip into habits from their younger days completely forgetting they’re a bit older nowadays. Watch out for any signs that he needs to slow down, such as: limping, panting, slow in pace, or sleeping for a long period of time after the exercise, which can be a sign of exhaustion.
Use Softer Ground
Also keep in mind that older dogs as well as some puppies can develop joint injuries or foot pad injuries from running on hard concrete. Where possible, let your dog run or walk on dirt, sand, or grass. If you have no choice but to walk him on concrete, avoid running and slow the pace.