April is for Adventure! This week I’ll explore some of the things you can do with your senior dog to keep the adventure alive.
Swimming is a great low impact exercise that will allow your dog to get moving while putting less strain on their joints. If the weather calls for it (and you live near some water) take your senior dog out for a swim. If they get their head wet, be aware that swimming can cause ear infections. Use some ear drops to keep Fido’s ears clean and to help prevent or treat an ear infection.
Even if your senior dog can’t move quite as quick or as far as she used to, you can bet she still loves to be outside. Go for a nice easy stroll in the park, bring a blanket and a good book, and just enjoy the outdoors together. They’ll appreciate the fresh air and the time with their favourite human.
If your senior dog loves people then there’s lots of senior people who would love your dog! Volunteering at your local senior centre is a great way to make someone’s day and get your dog out and about. Therapy animals are known to help lower cholesterol levels of patients, fight depression, accelerate healing after surgery, and more! Senior dogs are great because the are (usually) calmer than younger dogs. This means they are a better match for the energy levels of the people in senior centres.
Maybe your old dog can’t quite keep up on the hikes that you used to do, but they still need a stimulated mind. Your dog probably still loves to be around you every chance he can get. So if you are going somewhere that dogs can go, why not bring your friend? Going out for coffee – is there a dog friendly patio you can sit on? Going for a drive? Why not bring your dog along for a car ride. Our days are full of activity – our dogs just have us!
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Making a bucket list for your senior dog is a great way to keep all of the things you’d like to be able to do with them at top of mind. After our dogs have given us their greatest years they deserve some special treatment. Things like throwing them a dog party, going on a dog-friendly weekend getaway (just the two of you!), a pet-store shopping spree, and going for a picnic are just a few ideas. Let’s hear your ideas in the comments below!