Senior dogs may not have the energy they once did as pups but that doesn’t mean they no longer want to do anything. In fact, our senior dog Rocky still loves to play with his toys and puzzles and even plays with other dogs sometimes and still goes for longer walks (just much slower now).
While not every dog will still want to play with other dogs or go for long walks, there are still plenty of ways your senior dog might want to remain active. Here’s three!
- Playing with toys: Playing with toys will keep your senior dog’s mind sharp and prevent them from getting bored! Use puzzles and treat toys! For example, Rocky still plays with his treat tornado toy and loves to use his nose and scoop up treats from the toy. It keeps him active for a while. Find the right toy that your dog will enjoy and keep them playing when they seem bored.
2. Massage: Who doesn’t love a good massage? Your senior dog will appreciate getting a nice massage, especially if they have achy and stiff joints and muscles. Be careful not to massage too hard as it may injure your senior dog’s delicate body. Aim for a relaxing massage. You may even be able to tell if your dog is enjoying it by how relaxed they are.
3. Dog tricks: Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Play with your dog and keep them active by reminding them of all of the tricks they used to do and who knows you might even teach them something new! Doing these sort of tricks can keep your dog active and sharp both physically and mentally. Of course, be sure they are as comfortable as possible and do not overwhelm them with too much training or overfeed them with too many treats. If they already know some tricks, keep practicing them so your dog doesn’t forget. As VCA Animal Hospitals puts it, keeping the brain active is always a good thing. You also likely know your senior dog better than anyone else so it’s up to you to see how up for it they may be in learning something new.