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Our canine companions are adorable when they are hard at play. It’s almost impossible not to smile when watching Fido chase after a ball. Of course, as your pooch ages, he’ll slow down. Senior dogs still benefit from the exercise and mental stimulation play offers, but they have slightly different entertainment needs. Here, a Ruidoso, NM vet offers some advice on playing with a pup in his golden years.
Fido may appreciate toys that are a little softer on his mouth and/or are easier for him to track. Look for toys made just for senior dogs. You may want to choose something that squeaks or lights up.
Older dogs can become prone to slips and falls, just as aging people do. Play with Fido in a spot that offers good traction and a soft surface, in case your furry best friend should slip and fall. A grassy lawn or a carpeted interior room is ideal. Stay away from stairs, pools, fireplaces, and other possible hazards.
You’ll want to slowly scale down the physical activity, and start incorporating more things that offer mental stimulation. There are lots of options here, such as puzzle toys and games of Hide N’ Seek. For instance, you can make a dog-friendly version of the Three Cups game. Or, work on teaching your canine companion some cute tricks. That counts, too!
Don’t let your pooch become a complete couch potato. Fido will still need regular activity! Just take care not to overexert him. Because dogs are so loyal, they’ll drive themselves to exhaustion to please their humans. Keep a close eye on your four-legged friend, and make sure he isn’t getting too tired. If you notice any signs of doggy fatigue, such as panting, immediately call a stop to the game and let your canine buddy rest.
Don’t think of doggy playtime as a chore. It’s a great chance for you to relax and unwind, and just spend time with your furry pal. Remember, Fido’s whole world revolves around you. It’s really important to make sure he feels loved and cared for at this special time of his life. Plus, senior dog tail wags are extra adorable.
Do you have questions about your dog’s health or care? Contact us, your Ruidoso, NM pet clinic, today!