Playing With an Older Dog

Is your canine pal aged seven or older? If so, Fido may be entering—or already in—his golden years. While your pooch may not be as playful in his retirement as he was during his puppyhood, he’ll still benefit from regular play sessions. Read on as a local Marietta, GA vet offers some tips on playing with an aging pup.

Use Senior-Friendly Toys

Look for toys that were made just for older dogs. Some of these are soft, which will be easy on Fido’s mouth. Others may light up or make noise, so that they are easier for your furry friend to track.

Don’t Overexert The Pup

Your four-legged friend will get tired out much more easily than he used to. This is a concern with dogs because, unlike cats, they actually try to please their humans. Fido could very well exhaust himself if he thinks you want him to! Keep an eye out for signs of fatigue. Panting is likely the first thing you’ll see. As soon as your pooch starts looking the least bit tired, call it a day.

Choose Safe Areas

Older dogs are much more prone to slipping and falling than young pups are. Choose an area where Fido won’t hurt himself if he takes a spill. A soft lawn or carpeted area is ideal. Stay away from things like pools, stairs, and fire pits.

Watch The Temperature

Dogs can overheat very quickly in summer. On sweltering days, keep Fido’s play sessions short and sweet. It’s also best to play with your furry buddy in the mornings and evenings, when it’s not as hot out.

Offer Mental Stimulation

As your furry companion grows older, start making playtime more about mental stimulation than physical activity. There are many games you can modify for older pups. For instance, to make the Three Cups game suitable for dogs, get three plastic cups, put a treat under one, and switch them around. Then, have Fido pick one.

Consult Your Vet

Your dog’s care needs will change as he ages, and so will his activity requirements. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.

Have Fun

Fido’s golden years are a very special time, and are truly something to savor. Enjoy this time in your canine friend’s life!

As your local Marietta, GA veterinary hospital, we are dedicated to offering great care. Please feel free to contact us anytime!  

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