21 Exercises For Your Senior Dog

senior dog in park

Exercises For Your Senior Dog

Finding the right exercises for your senior dog is very important! Exercise will not only support muscle strength and joint mobility, but will also promote cardiovascular health, mental stimulation, and their overall well-being. Check out this list of the 21 best exercises for senior dogs!

21 Of The Best Senior Dog Exercises:

1. Walking: Just like in their younger years, a leisurely stroll remains the go-to exercise for senior dogs. Keep them short, frequent, and on soft terrains to reduce joint stress.

2. Swimming: Water aerobics is easy on the joints, making swimming an excellent exercise for senior dogs. 

3. Short Distance Fetch: Throwing a toy a short distance gives your dog a quick sprint without overexerting.

4. Step Climbs: Encourage your dog to go up and down a small set of stairs or an incline. This can help strengthen their hind legs.

5. Hide and Seek: This playful game keeps your dog mentally sharp and gives them a bit of physical activity.

6. Treat Puzzles: Toys that dispense treats as your dog manipulates them will mentally stimulate your dog while providing gentle movement. 

7. Sit and Come: Practice your “sit” and “come” commands with your dog to keep them mentally sharp and get them moving.

8. Laser Pointer: Laser pointers aren’t just for cats; dogs can enjoy them too! Move the laser around your living room to simulate a fun hunting game. Just make sure they don’t run into anything!

9. Treadmill Walk: Under supervision, a slow-paced treadmill can be a controlled environment for exercise.

10. Underwater Treadmill: This exercise is great for dogs with arthritis or other joint problems.

11. Playdates: Having some social interaction with other gentle dogs can boost your dogs spirits and activity levels.

12. Digging: If your dog loves to dig, set up a designated area or sandbox for them.

13. Scent Games: Hide treats around the house or yard and let your dog search for them.

14. Kibble Toss: Toss kibble across the floor or on your lawn, encouraging your dog to “hunt” for their food.

15. Walking On The Beach: Taking a walk on the beach requires more energy compared to walking on the grass or sidewalk, while still remaining low impact. 

16. Bubble Chasing: Some dogs love chasing non-toxic pet-friendly bubbles, which can be both entertaining and a good form of exercise. 

17. Indoor Obstacle Course: Set up an indoor obstacle course using cushions, low hurdles, and toys to encourage mobility and mental stimulation.

18. Stretching: Simple stretching exercises, like coaxing your dog to reach for a treat, can increase flexibility.

19. Massage: While not an exercise per se, a gentle massage can stimulate muscles, improve circulation, and help with relaxation. Talk to your vet to find out the best way to massage your dog!

20. Head Rotation Exercises: Encourage your dog to turn their head from side to side or follow a treat in a circle. This aids neck flexibility and provides gentle stimulation.

21. Learn A New Trick: A really simple way to keep your dog active is by teaching them a new trick, like “roll over.” It doesn’t require too much physical exertion and will be great for bonding!

Keep Them Moving

senior dog in wheelchair This list is just a guide. It’s up to you as the pet parent to monitor your senior pup’s comfort and activity levels to decide what exercise will be best for them. And remember to always consult with your vet before starting any new form of exercise!

With the right activities, you can help ensure your senior dog remains happy, healthy, and active in their golden years!

Want more tips for keeping your senior dog healthy? Check out our blog on nutrition tips for senior dogs!

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