All dogs need exercise even old dogs. Many people think that old dogs love to be idle because they are often seen just lying on their space. The truth is, they are not lazy. They just need to be encouraged to do exercise. Worse, idleness is sometimes a sign that your dog has a feet injury. Most old dogs suffer leg problems like hind legs and weak legs. These can be treated by walking your old dog.
You can do something to help your old dog walk with the tips below:
- Check with the vet. If you suspect that your dog is suffering from physical pain, then better let the vet check him. Do not attempt to walk your old dog without seeing a vet. Doing that might only worsen his condition, assuming that he is suffering from a leg injury. Visiting the vet won’t be a waste of time and money even if the dog doesn’t have any injury. Vets can give you proper guide on how to help your old dog walk based on what the pet can do with his age and condition.
- Put a leash around the dog. That is, if the pet is used to having a leash around his neck whenever you take him to a walk. Even if not, it’s still a good idea to use a leash. This makes you in control of the dog’s direction and speed of walking.
- Adjust to a slow dog. Most old dogs can’t walk as fast as they used to. Arthritis is one of the reasons. If your dog seems to walk very slow, then just adjust to its speed. Besides, the pet can’t catch up on you if you walk normally or too fast.
- Walk slowly. Even if the dog can walk fast, it is still wiser to walk slowly. Sure, your dog can walk fast but too much pressure on the feet might make them sore.
- Bring treats. Helping an old dog walk is like training him do something he should do—walk slowly. And if he did it correctly, give him a treat, just like how you used to do when training it at a younger age.
- Do not give up on your dog. Walking might be a little bit painful for the dog. But it doesn’t mean you should let your pet sit on his bed for the entire day. Letting him spend the day without exercise is the worst thing you can do.
- Plan the perfect walking schedule. Ideally, old dogs should walk for about 30 minutes everyday. If your pet gets tired easily, then cut it short to about 15 minutes. Everyday walking is the best also but sometimes, it might only bring more trouble than benefit for the dog. In that case, try walking your old dog every other day. The pet can slowly increase minutes of walking and frequency of exercise.
Old dogs are already tamed dogs. They know how to react appropriately
with other animals or with other people. Their basic problem is lack of
exercise and their diminishing body. Helping your old dog to walk is one
of the best things you can do to help your pet combat the consequences
of old age.