Message Us

Senior Dogs: How Much Activity is Too Much Activity?

By RachelSheppard. | Dog Health Dog Info

When I was working at the veterinary hospital we had so many patients that were brought in because they were “slowing down.” Often, pet parents were hoping to get some clarity on whether or not their dog was experiencing arthritis, and if there was anything they could do for their dog as they began their golden years, which was great! 

If you are just now starting to see these changes in your dog’s activity levels and you aren’t sure what to do, I highly recommend scheduling a visit with your veterinarian and discussing potential changes in your dogs’ lifestyle. These changes can include; diet, supplements, medications (if necessary), and overall activity levels

Often, there are a lot of adjustments you can make to improve your pet’s quality of life once they become a senior dog. If you are looking to change your dog’s activity levels, here are a few ways I have seen people make adjustments.

For some pet parents, activity change mean increasing their pet’s daily activity if their pet needs to lose weight. For others, activity change might mean increasing the number of activity sessions each day, but keeping the total amount of exercise exactly the same. Or, “slowing down” might mean decreasing your dog’s overall activity. 

If You Need to Increase Your Dog’s Activity

Some pet parents find themselves in a situation where their dog is reaching their golden years and taking with them a few extra pounds. As a result, it might be time to increase their daily activity. You want to avoid over-training your dog. For example, you would have a different plan for running your first marathon at 20 years old, then you would at 50 years of age. Similarly, you want to provide your dog with a strategic exercise regime that includes different types of activities. The AKC recommends the following activities and sports for senior dogs:

  • Scent Work
  • Tracking
  • Obedience
  • Rally 
  • Trick Training 

All of these activities provide your dog with mental and physical stimulation, that isn’t too challenging for their joints. Additionally, these activities will enrich their lives and keep them active as they age.  

If You Need to Maintain Overall Activity Levels

If your pet is starting to slow down, but still needs to maintain activity levels in order to remain happy, as well as, well-behaved, you might want to consider changing the distribution of their daily exercise.

I have often heard veterinary professional make the recommendation to take more frequent and shorter walks. For example, if you walk your dog for 45 minutes every day, you might want to consider walking them twice a day for 20-25 minutes instead. (Again, I like this.  Think of this similar to a running schedule, is it easier to run 2 miles twice in one day with meals, water, and breaks in between, or 4 miles all at once?)

Additionally, similar to the above category, you might want to consider adding different activities to their daily life. The Honest Kitchen recommends the following activities for senior dogs which provide enrichment, but aren’t necessarily harder on joints:

  • Therapy Dog Work 
  • Walks in Different Locations with different smells and inclines
  • Car Rides 

I would also add that if your dog likes water, swimming is an excellent exercise for senior dogs of any activity level because it maintains muscle mass without being particularly hard on their joints.  

If You Feel You Need to Decrease Activity Levels

If you feel strongly that you need to decrease your dog’s activity levels, it might be time to visit your veterinarian. Often, you want to make sure that your pet isn’t experiencing any joint or muscle pain that you are unaware of, and if they are, your veterinarian can provide you with insights and a comprehensive plan to improve your pet’s quality of life and keep them active! 

Now, it’s your turn! What changes have you made to your senior dog's activity levels?

Behavioral Science and Dog Seat Covers: Cargo, Dog Bed Liner, Bed Cover: 30% Off Premium Seat Covers


rachel sheppardRachel Sheppard

Rachel Sheppard is the author and founder of My Kid Has Paws. She is a Social Media Manager, blogger, corgi mom, animal lover, volunteer, graduate student, and shoe collector. After graduating from the University of California, Davis with a Bachelor's Degree in Animal Science & Management, she worked as a Veterinary Assistant for 3 years. Her daily interactions with pet parents inspired her to start her blog focused on pet health, pet rescue, and pet products. She has a true enthusiasm for veterinary medicine and animal science, and enjoys sharing her knowledge and experiences with pet parents.


Comments

Signup/Login to post a reply

 

Reviews From 4Knines Customers VIEW MORE »

The best evaluations of our products come from the people who’ve bought them.

great cover

This is actually a replacement for my original 4 knines cover which was 4 years old. I used it daily (bringing my pup to work with me) and washed it weekly, so the backing finally started to flake apart and come off. This newer version is easier to put over the headrests, great improvement in the strap and closures. Also the best improvement is the side flaps, the old cover didn't have these. These flaps help to catch the dirt from dogs feet when they are jumping up into the car, instead of it going on the side of the seat.

READ MORE »
Diane Breland

Fantastic

This is my 2nd seat cover from 4knines and love them both. The product and service were both fantastic.

READ MORE »
GREG BATEMAN

Repeat customer VERY satisfied.

We have made several purchases from 4Knines and are VERY satisfied with products (cargo liner, back seat cover, bucket front seat cover...). I volunteer at a shelter and take dogs offsite daily. Always a Pleasure doing business with 4Knines. Highly recommend.

READ MORE »
Cristina Jones

Split Rear Dog Seat Cover - Fitted - No Hammock

I had ordered this item from an on-line site and was extremely disappointed when I received the wrong item. I was impressed with the quality of the seat cover and decided to contact 4Knines directly. I placed my order with Maggie and received the Split Rear Dog Seat Cover within three days. The seat cover fits nicely in my new Honda CR-V and as stated by 4Knines, is very easy to install and remove. My 8-month old labradoodle Brodie likes the comfort, and friends agree with him. Great quality item, reasonably priced, and outstanding customer service. Thanks 4Knines.

READ MORE »
Sally LIEDHOLM

New seat cover and side panels in Nissan Titan

Excellent solution for my truck. Absolutely no complaints. A+ quality materials, engineering, and design. Fast service on delivery. Cannot ask for anything better. J Jones Aiken, SC

READ MORE »
john jones

New truck seat cover and side panels

I really do like the seat cover and door side panels. The side panels are a must as the Beagle mix puts her feet on the doors. Every now and again someone comes up with a nice product that works well, has quality in its materials, and is well engineered. These are those. I am super satisfied.

READ MORE »
john jones

Pawesomeness!!!

Easy and fast install. Stays in place...works great!! (and the dogs are happy that they get to ride along again!) :)

READ MORE »
Ericka Spiva

Great fit, Great look, Stays in Place

I really like the look of this cover on my front bucket seat. You can't tell it's to protect the seat from the dog! It's very nice looking and fits great. Most importantly, it stays in place! My dog is wiggly, up and down, looking out the windows; and this seat cover doesn't mind. Do make sure you watch the video and carefully follow the installation instructions. I did not at first; and Support was Wonderful in helping me figure out what I was doing incorrectly.

READ MORE »
Sherry McClurkin

4Knines.com

For all general inquiries, please call or email us
Phone: 888.602.2509
Email: support@4Knines.com

Sign Up to Our Newsletter

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Nothing but the best for your best friend!
© 4Knines. 2017. All rights reserved | Terms | Privacy