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Playing With an Older Dog

Did you know that dogs can become seniors as early as age six? Large breeds age faster than small ones, so Fido’s size will play a big role in determining when he enters his golden years. However, no matter what type of pooch you have, you’ll need to keep him active and entertained as he ages. Here, an East Dallas, TX vet offers some advice on playing with a senior dog.

Choose Soft Toys

Fido may appreciate toys that are softer, as they will be gentler on his mouth. You may also want to choose playthings that light up and/or make noise. These may be easier for your furry friend to track, especially if he develops vision or hearing problems.

Don’t Overdo It

Dogs are very loyal, and they often really strive to please their humans. Fido may very well push himself to keep playing, even if he’s tired, if he thinks you want him to. Keep a close eye on him, and end playtime as soon as you notice any signs of fatigue.

Choose A Safe Place

Play with Fido on a soft surface, such as a grassy lawn or carpet. That way, he’ll be less likely to injure himself if he falls. Stay away from potential hazards, such a stairs, fireplaces, and pools.

Avoid Inappropriate Activity

Not all exercises are safe or suitable for older dogs. For instance, we don’t recommend having senior pooches jump or stand on their back legs very much. This puts a lot of stress on their bones, especially their hips. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Make It Routine

Fido will feel most secure if he is on a fairly steady schedule. Try to play with him every day, at roughly the same time. These play sessions may very well be the highlight of your canine pal’s day!

Opt For Brain Teasers

Elderly dogs get tired very quickly. As your furry buddy ages, start focusing more on activities that offer mental stimulation rather than physical exercise. Puzzles and games are great, as they will engage Fido’s mind without tiring him out. One option is to play the doggy version of the Three Cups game. Turn three cups upside down on a table, put a treat beneath one, and switch them around.

Do you have questions about senior dog care? Contact us, your East Dallas, TX vet clinic, anytime.

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