Playing With An Older Dog

Is your dog slowing down? As Fido ages, you’ll want to focus more on comfort than entertainment. Playing will still be fun and beneficial for your pet, but there are some things to keep in mind. Here, a London, ON vet discusses playing with senior dogs.

Time It Right

Although heat isn’t as much of a problem here in Ontario as it is in other areas, you do want to be mindful of the weather. When it’s hot out, play with Fido in the mornings or evenings.

Don’t Overdo It

Fido won’t have the endurance that he once did, but he’ll probably keep playing even after he’s tired if he thinks you want him to. (Cats, on the other hand, quit the moment they feel even a little tired.) When your pooch starts slowing down or panting, it’s time to end doggy playtime.

Choose Senior-Friendly Toys

Look for toys that are made for senior dogs. If Fido has trouble seeing, he may like toys that make noise. Brightly-colored playthings may be a good option as well, as they are easier to see.

Consult Your Vet

While playing is fun and beneficial, it’s important to realize that not all types of play are suitable for older dogs. At some point, you’ll need to put a stop to high-impact activities, like jumping to catch Frisbees. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Choose A Safe Area

Play with Fido on a soft surface, such as a grassy lawn or a carpet. Avoid playing near dangerous areas, such as pools, stairs, or fireplaces. Also, keep your canine buddy’s claws clipped! Overgrown nails can easily snag and tear on things.

Offer Mental Stimulation

Senior pups often enjoy games that stimulate their minds without tiring them out. Games like Cups are good options here. Turn three cups upside down, put a yummy treat under one, switch them around, and have Fido find his snack. You can also play Hide and Seek with him, or hide treats for him to find.

Make It Routine

Play with Fido every day. Even if your pooch only has the energy to chase his ball a few times, it will still benefit him. Plus, this is a great way to spend some quality time with your furry best friend!

As your London, ON vet clinic, we are dedicated to keeping your pet healthy. Call us today!

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