As your dog ages, he or she is going to slow down a little. That is to be expected. But just as with humans, if he stays active and engaged, the mental and physical decline will not be as great.
After a dog has reached about seven years of age, he or she will begin to slow down. It may take him a little longer to get himself up when he is lying down. It takes him a little longer to take that jump into the car. He runs up the stairs a little more slowly, too.
Another clue that your dog is aging is the onset of illnesses, such as arthritis, diabetes, heart problems, liver and kidney problems.
There are other signs of aging also. Your dog may get tired more quickly. He may develop problems seeing or hearing. He may spend more time sleeping, and just generally not be as active.
Exercise and other stimulation can slow down the aging process. Here are a few ideas for keeping your dog active.
- Give him new toys and new things to do.
Who doesn’t like a new toy? It’s fun to get a new toy, and dogs are no exception. Plus, it can stimulate your dog mentally and foster more interaction with you.
- Go to new locations.
Everyone likes to see new places, and the same is true for your dog. You can take him to a new park or a different route when you go for a walk. The new surroundings will help invigorate your dog.
- Interact with other dogs.
Naturally, this depends on how your dog gets along with other animals. If he is overly aggressive or anxious around other animals, this may not be a good course of action. But social interaction will also help keep your dog alert and happy.
- Teach your dog new tricks.
Again, this will help with your dog’s mental alertness.
- Spend time with your dog.
Companionship is important for people and animals. It is necessary both for physical and mental well-being. Just playing with your dog more often can help.
Another thing that will help your dog stay active is the right kind of nutrition. Some veterinarians recommend supplements such as S – adenosylmethionine (often known as SAMe). Research has shown that this supplement can help slow a dog’s mental deterioration.
If going away for a few days and leaving your dog behind, no matter his age, make sure he has plenty of stimulation while you’re gone. Barney’s Ranch provides a fun and as active-as-your-dog-is-able environment Contact us at (469) 273-1661 for more information.