All you want for your older dog is to love them and make them comfortable and happy. Everything you can do to ensure they stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible will be your greatest mission. Going for walks is an essential part of a dog’s life, and it will continue to be important as your pup ages. What do you need to know about going for walks with your older dog to ensure the experience is fun and safe? Here are a few tips.
Check the Weather
An older dog is much more affected by changes in weather than when they were younger. Before going for a walk, look to see if it’s too cold or too hot. If necessary, it’s okay to postpone the walk for a nicer day, and you’ll be more comfortable, too.
Pick an Easy Walk
If your senior dog isn’t running or jumping anymore, it’s time to consider a gentler walk. Avoid lots of hills. If the sidewalk is too hard on their paws, find a grassy park with a softer path that will be easier on their feet.
You don’t need to run marathons with your older dogs. Especially if they haven’t been on a walk for a while, don’t try an epic journey the first time out. Go for a short walk up and down your street or around the block and build your way up.
Take a Break
Your dog may need more breaks than they did when they were younger. Don’t push it – if they’re tired and are ready to stop, take a break before turning for home. If you have a smaller dog, consider investing in a stroller so you can push them when they’re tired of walking.
When your pup was younger, you probably didn’t have to think about bringing water with you on a short walk. Your older dog may need more hydration. Bring water and a collapsible bowl to give your dog a drink while you’re out and about.
Pay Close Attention
With any activity, pay close attention to your dog’s energy and comfort level. You may be able to spot issues more quickly, which can make a lot of difference in their quality of life. As always, report any changes in their behavior to your vet who can work with you to design a plan to keep your dog healthy as they age. Your thoughtful effort to give your senior pup the very best of life – for their whole life – is a gift to them. They feel your extra care and attention.