It makes sense that your older pupper might be a bit bored. He or she has seen it all before, from your local walking paths to their favorite toy brands. Plus, older dogs may not be able to engage in the activities that once engaged their brain, including fetch and walks, at least not for as long. So, how can you make sure that your senior dog isn’t bored and still has a good quality of life?
There are plenty of new food toys that may not have been on the market when your dog was young. These toys are like puzzles that challenge your dog’s brain instead of their heart. Your dog will need to think in order to get the food, and that can stave off boredom for some time. Try adding in your healthiest treats for senior dogs who are trying to lose weight.
Low-impact exercises are great for older dogs as well as older humans. Swimming takesuch of their body weight off your dog’s joints so that they can move with less pain. Plus, senior dogs may find it harder to regulate their body temperature, and swimming can keep them cool in summer. It’s overall a fun activity that shouldn’t stress them. If your dog struggles to swim, be sure to get them a doggy-life vest.
Does your dog love to smell? Most do, and most have the skills to learn to find objects that you hide. With a little bit of training, you can have your dog seeking out toys and even other objects that you hide. This is a great option to keep senior dogs from being bored because it engages their mind without asking them to run. They can find the object entirely at their own pace.
Plus, you can tailor the game to suit your dog’s needs. If he or she struggles to go up and down stairs, hide the object on the same floor of the house that you start on. Don’t put it too high, but beneath objects like furniture or clothing.
These days you probably take slow, short trips with your dog so that he or she doesn’t get too tired or uncomfortable. Unfortunately, that also means you walk over the same ground frequently. Those have all the same sights and smells, so they aren’t that engaging for your pup. When possible, drive your dog out to a new area to have your walk. You don’t have to push him or her to walk further to get new experiences that may interest them.
Senior Dog Playdates
When your dog was young, he or she could keep up with the best of them. Now, the younger dog friends he or she sees on their walk can easily outpace them. However, socialization can still be good for your dog as long as the playmate can go their pace. Create playdates with other senior dogs. Even if they spend most of their time smelling each other and sitting in the shade, it’s good for them.