Did you know that dogs can be seniors as early as age six? Our canine companions all age differently. Size and breed play large roles here, as bigger dogs age more quickly than small breeds. Of course, no matter how big or small Fido is, he’ll always be a puppy at heart. Playing is just as fun for senior dogs as it is for young ones. There are just some things you need to do a little differently. Read on as a local Bellevue, WA vet offers some advice on playing with an older pooch.
Don’t Overdo It
First and foremost, take care not to push Fido too hard. Dogs will exhaust themselves trying to please their humans. Keep an eye out for signs that your pooch is getting tired. This may not take very long, as older dogs don’t have much endurance. If your pet is panting or slowing down, it’s probably time to end his play session.
Choose Suitable Games
As Fido ages, he may start enjoying games that challenge his mind rather than his body. Puzzle toys and games like Hide and Seek are good for this. Incorporate these types of things into doggy playtime.
Pick A Safe Area
Slips and falls can be very dangerous for older dogs. Only play with Fido in a safe area, where he isn’t in danger of hurting himself. A grassy lawn or a room with a thick carpet is a good option. Stay away from potential hazards, such as pools, fireplaces, or steep drops.
Make It Routine
Many pets tend to really thrive on routine. Try to make playing a regular part of Fido’s daily doggy schedule.
Get Appropriate Toys
When shopping for your pup, look for toys that were specifically made for older dogs. These may be softer on Fido’s mouth. Or, they may light up or make noise, which will make them easier for your pooch to track.
Last but not least, be sure to enjoy this time with your canine companion. Fido will never stop being that loyal, lovable companion. In fact, you may find that your dog gets even cuter as he grows older. Senior dogs are truly special!
Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns about your pet’s health or care. As your local Bellevue, WA animal clinic, we are here to help!