7 Exercises for your Senior Dogs | How to Exercise an Old Dog?

Our dog mobility is likely to decline with their age. But we need to understand that their mobility is very important to keep them healthy and fit. They need proper exercise to maintain their active and healthy lifestyle. Maybe your older dog doesn't like to chase the ball, but there are plenty of other ways to keep your dog engaged with safe physical activity.


Regular exercising is very helpful for your dog to keep their weight healthy and their bodies strong. Your pup will enjoy and benefit even more if you add some gentle conditions into his daily life. You always need to start with short walks to warm up your dog. When your dog is comfortable with one exercise, you can add another exercise. Make sure your dog is not sore or overly tired by his workout. You also need to have a clean bill from your veterinarian to start any kind of conditioning program for your dog. Let's see some exercises for your senior dogs, which keep them fit healthy.

1. Walks

Starting with a short walk is a good option to warm up the dog. You can go for as long a walk as your dog can tolerate. If you think he is sore the next day, lagging behind, then you can try to short the walks by 30%. If your dog can't walk the next day, make sure to visit your veterinarian to check what might be limiting him from walks. Also, take care of the walking surfaces as the grass and sand are the recommended surfaces for the dogs. You should avoid asphalt and gravel, especially in warmer temperatures. These surfaces can harm your dog's paws.

2. Balance Exercises

Balance is very important as body strength can deteriorate quickly without balance. Your dog uses his stabilizing muscles to keep himself balanced. These muscles can get sore, and balance is compromised when they need to work extra hard. If you think your dog is freed from lameness and active, these exercises are safe to do. Usually, the balanced exercises include the plank101 and platform plant. During the plank101, your dog needs to stand still and be comfortable for 10 seconds. It's really hard for the dogs in the starting. In the platform plank, your dog needs to stand for 30 seconds on a low platform that is 2 to 4 inches high and 1.5 to 2 times as long as the dog's body. You can simply start with 10 seconds by making sure that the surface is nonslip.

3. Mobility exercises

Has your dog done well with the plank exercises? Now it's time to go for mobility exercises. These exercises include the cookie stretches and figure 8. During the cookie stretches, you need to use a piece of food to lure your dog's nose toward her shoulder, then toward her hip, then between her front legs. You need to do that on both sides by making sure that your dog is not stepping out of the place while doing all of this. Do these stretches every day with your companion.

If your dog is doing all the other exercises correctly, you can now go for the figure 8 exercise. This exercise keeps your dog's spine mobile and helps his balancing and stabilizing. You can use the cookie to lure your dog in figure 8 around a couple of cones or trashcans. You can also use your own legs as cones if your dog is small or limber. Maybe your dog needs few treats to do this exercise for the first time. It can be a little challenging for your dog, so you can start with one or two repetitions.

4. Strength Exercises

Strength exercises include keeping your dog's muscles strong. These exercises include the back extension and up, down platform exercise. In the back extension exercise, your dog needs to stand on a platform with her front feet. Make sure to keep your dog's head and neck neutral and in a straight line with her back during this extension. In the starting, you can hold this position for 5 to 10 seconds and then extend it.

The up-down exercises are very beneficial for the dogs having trouble with the stairs. You need to set up a platform with a nonslip surface, which is about as high as your dog's ankle. You can also use the exercise bench for your medium to large dog. Now, gently push your dog to step up and step down on the platform. You can simply start with 3 to 4-time steps.

5. Tug of war

Maybe it's funny for you to play tug of war with your dog, but it's one of the favorite games of the dogs throughout their life. It's a great act of playing with your dog, which gets many of your dog's muscles working together. Especially it strengthens your dog's neck, jaws, and shoulders. But make sure to use the soft item, which is not stressing on their teeth. Moreover, don't play as rough as you play with the humans. You can let your dog win once to keep them motivated.

6. Hide and found

Hide and found is a perfect physical workout that keeps your dog mentally strong. You just need to hide some treats and let your dog be found. Maybe you need to help your dog in the starting, especially if you never played this game with your dog before. It's a good, fun, and challenging game, which get your dog using their brain and body.

7. Teach them new tricks

We usually heard that the new dogs couldn't be tech for the new tricks. But it's not true at all; yes, they need a little bit more attention and patience. There are plenty of tricks that don't want too much movement. Some nice workouts include balancing treats on their nose, walking between your legs, and doing anything basic. This can be a nice workout and rewarding experience for your dog. But make sure to keep the training sessions short to prevent exhaustion. Give them a lot of love and attention to do that. 

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