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How can I spend time with my senior dog?

Caring for a canine senior is slightly different from a puppy or an adult dog. Your pet’s preferences change with age. The senior canine will appreciate other forms of spending time than the young canine. Therefore, check what your older dog will surely like and which activities are better to avoid.

a dog on the blanket

You can take your older dog on a picnic in the park, where he can relax surrounded by nature and fresh air. Organise him to have fun looking for flavours, thanks to which you will stimulate his hunter instinct, and it will also be an opportunity for the dog to move more. You can also do a dog massage.

Time with the canine senior

I love spending my free time with my four-legged friend. I can see that it is also crucial to him. He enjoys playing in the park and sitting on the couch together. His preference for leisure activities changed along with his adolescence.

Only physical activity was satisfactory for him when he was a little puppy. Now that he is a bit older, he also enjoys typical relaxation and lazing together.

But how is it with older dogs? Dog seniors prefer how they like to spend their free time with their guardians. It is essential to adjust the form of entertainment to the dog’s age. Thanks to this, you make sure you adapt the activities to his personal needs.

What will you learn from this article:

  • to keep your dog’s age in mind and organise the time spent with him
  • how to spend time with a dog senior
  • what activities to avoid with an older dog

Why do you need to adjust the activity to the dog’s age

It is crucial to change the daily activities to the dog’s age. How old the dog is, has a direct impact on his physical fitness. Moreover, the dog’s willingness to spend time actively also depends on the dog’s age.

You cannot expect the senior canine to play with you as energetically as a puppy or even an adult dog. Older dogs often suffer from various types of joint or spine diseases, which prevent them from performing intense physical exertion.

Although it is said that sport means health, it will not always be true in the case of a senior canine. Yes, giving your older dog the right amount of exercise is very important. However, you must choose an activity to the dog’s abilities that will not strain your older puppy.

Otherwise, the senior dog’s ailments may worsen even more, and you certainly don’t want that. As a guardian dog, I think you know your dog well and his possibilities. Adjust the type of physical activity to his health condition and willingness.

It would be best if you didn’t act against the dog. If your friend does not feel like a specific activity, then there is no reason to force him. Your dog knows very well what he can afford regarding his mobility. Therefore, watch him and act instinctively, which is supposed to please your senior dog.

Do you want to know how to calculate a dog’s years and whether your dog belongs to the group of canine seniors? If so, I refer you to the full post on this topic, which you can find HERE.

a dog in a pink sweater

What not to do with the senior dog

First, you must know what you cannot do with a senior dog. As I mentioned before, your dog’s mobility deteriorates over the years. Your canine will no longer be able to do all he did in adolescence.

Therefore, you need to know which activities to avoid for older dogs. That is especially important if your dog has led a relatively quiet life. You cannot expect him that when he enters a very mature age, he will be more active and willing to participate in sports than before.

The senior canine should not run long and intensively. Even if, at the moment, you think your dog is having a great time. Unfortunately, his joints may only become noticeable after a delay.

Because of the joints of senior dogs, you should avoid climbing and descending activities. Such a movement is very straining for the body of an older dog.

Try not to let active play with the dog last too long. Even if the dog is willing to continue being active, if you know it is too much for his body, it’s time to let go.

Do not choose games that could overwhelm him to some degree. In the case of a senior dog, it is inadvisable to run intensively, as well as too long, walks.

Finding a healthy balance in your older dog’s daily physical activity is essential. Movement is healthy and undeniably should be a permanent part of an older dog’s day. However, playing too much can harm your dog.

Just be prepared for your dog’s mobility to be less than during adolescence as the years go by. That is the normal and natural order of things. You must approach the matter with common sense and choose activities that are by no means too heavy for your older dog.

How to spend time with a senior canine

Your pet is already an older dog does not mean he does not need to spend time actively. On the contrary, to keep him in good health and physical fitness, it is advisable to have adequate exercise every day.

Therefore, I will present you with a few appropriate activities for the senior canine’s difficulty and strength of effort.

the dog puts his head into the basket with toys

Searching for flavours

For this activity, preparing snacks with an intense aroma will be necessary. That is important because your senior canine will find them by smell. Choose a small space as a place to play so that the dog does not have to travel very long distances.

Therefore, you can have fun at home. In the absence of your dog, hide his favourite flavours in easily accessible places. Then call him and show him the first place where you hid the sweet tooth so that the dog understands what’s going on.

It should be a space that the dog knows very well. As a result, it is well-oriented in the field and is not distracted by new smells.

Dog relaxation

Older dogs appreciate peace. They can then relax and rest. However, to slightly diversify this form of spending time with your dog, I recommend you give your pet a dog massage.

It will be not only pleasant for your pet but also most desirable in the case of senior dogs. With age, the muscles in a dog’s body weaken. By massaging the dog, we improve blood circulation. That is especially important for older dogs with walking difficulties. Dog rehabilitators very often recommend foot massages.

However, it is essential in a dog’s massage to act skilfully. Otherwise, in extreme cases, you can hurt the dog. Therefore, I refer you to the entry that you can find HERE. There you will find all the necessary information about dog massage.

Time with nature

Getting to know new scents is a significant part of every dog’s life. It does not matter whether it is a puppy, a young dog or a senior dog. It gives the four-legged joy and satisfaction at every stage. Therefore, when caring for an older dog, you must ensure that it has constant contact with nature. Although walks with the senior dog should not be too long, you can organise picnics together so as not to push the dog over.

Take your dog’s favourite blanket with you. You can also use a portable dog mat. I have one from the LOFT line from Bowl & Bone Republic, which has a handle so you can easily take it everywhere. Take a break from your walk and organise a little picnic for you and your little dog.

Time with a canine senior doesn’t have to be boring

Just because your pet is a bit older doesn’t mean he is not bothered by boredom. On the contrary, the dog will need more commitment on your part. Your form of spending time should match your pet’s abilities.

How do you spend time with the senior dog? I hope you can share your ideas with me in the comment section.

If you have any questions or want me to discuss a topic in the next post, share it with me in the comments section.

Author: Klaudia, great dog lover

The dog by my side teaches me to enjoy every moment and to perceive each subsequent day as a chance for a new, wonderful adventure. While looking for my soul mate, I found it in a dog's wise eyes.

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