Activities For Senior Dogs

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Introduction

While senior dogs may be past their prime, don't count them out for a good old time. In fact, it's important that you keep older dogs active in order to combat health problems that become much more dangerous with age. Admittedly, they won't have the same energy as in previous years, but that doesn't mean they don't want to relive their youth with fun and games. It's up to you to find appropriate activities that will suit your dog's age and interests. Who knows - you might even add a few years to your dog's life. Fetch and Frisbee might be out of the picture, but there's a whole world of light and relaxing activities that can still be done by your pet. Read on for activities appropriate to the fitness level and capabilities of senior dogs. There are a number of ways you can have a fun time with your old timer!

Senior Dog Meet-ups

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
2 hrs
Items needed
Leash
Dog treats
Water for rehydration
Activity description
Just like humans, it's never too late to make new friends. Senior dogs may not have the same energy as puppies, but it's still worthwhile to expose them to new humans and dogs alike. Just like being in a new place, new creatures can be a source of inspiration and movement that will make your dog feel more energetic. Meeting new people and dogs can enhance the playfulness and curiosity of your senior dog. This social experience is a heartwarming way to meet other senior dog owners, and listen to their own stories, joys, and struggles with their aged furry friend. Love can be shared around in this way and the newfound attention and affection can have a positive effect on your old dog. This can be done in any weather if you decide to go indoors, but of course sunny is best if you choose an outdoor meetup. It's quite cheap as advertising on social media is free and you may share the costs of venue, materials, and food with other guests. Of course handling an event is of moderate difficulty, so you may want to start with a small community at first. These events could be become so successful and social that it could go on for more than an hour, so give it two at most, to have some fun without tiring out the senior pups!
Step
1
Scout your area for other senior dogs
Give out flyers, put up posters, or make an event on social media. Other senior dog owners would love to participate in an event that will not only expose their dogs to a social life, but will expose the owners themselves to other senior dog experiences! Encourage posting pictures in the group so that the guests invited can see that it is a real community looking for more love for senior dogs to spread around.
Step
2
Choose a senior dog friendly place and program
This will need to be a relaxed location that has enough space to lie around. Simple activities like relay puzzles that involve both owner and dog can provide a wonderful bonding moment between all attendees of the event. Indoors clubs will have a nice open space that is clean and will have seats for the guests. Outdoor parks are also good as they are completely free public spaces that will be comfortable and allow for a nice picnic, too.
Step
3
Good food and good times
This step is pretty simple; enjoy your day in the company of others. Most senior dogs are well socialized and pretty laid back at this point, so a meet and greet may be all that they are looking for. It could be fun to incorporate a game or two or just include an exploratory walk around the green space. Be sure the dogs have treats and plenty of fresh water available.
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Puzzle Games

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
60 min
Items needed
Puzzle Games
Cups
Objects with Different Smells
Dog Treats as Rewards
Activity description
They love to say that you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but that's definitely not true. Brain work is still an important part of exercise, and will keep your dog bright and attentive. Most people forget that the brain is something that you also have to train, even in older stages of life. Every day, interactive toys and puzzles come on the market that may not have existed during the prime of your dog's life. You can choose and pick which ones would appeal to your pet. In an effort to increase interest, it's probably a good idea to include dog treats as a part of your playtime. Have fun! This activity can be done in any type of weather. You don't actually have to buy new toys - but if you choose to, you can buy them from a sale bundle at your local supermarket. Because your dog is a senior, it may require patience to teach them the puzzle. We are sure you will have hours upon hours of fun with these new activities.
Step
1
Shop for a new toy or puzzle
This is relatively easy to do these days because of the rise of e-commerce, as well as the convenience of looking at reviews. Look for toys that aren't too complicated. Even a simple ball with different textures, or one that houses small treats will be enough to get the interest of your dog and provide him with extra stimulation.
Step
2
Play the Monte Game
Strapped for funds? Use some cups and treats and play that old cup game switcheroo! This fast-paced game could be adjusted accordingly to your pet’s skill level. First you need to take 3 cups, and 1 treat. Like the old brain puzzle, let the dog watch which cup you put the treat in. Then go crazy switching the cups! Go as slow or as fast as you want, according to the skill level of your dog. When you stop, ask your dog to point out which cup holds the treat. If they get it right, they get the treat! It’s all about paying attention and positive reinforcement. Upgrade the puzzle by going faster – it’s so simple.
Step
3
Nose work and tracking
Another way to have simple fun in the home or backyard is to do some tracking. You and your canine pal won't have to go too far to have fun. Your dog will be made alert by the smells. This is a lightly active game that will encourage exercising the senses! You can go about this activity by placing different treats in various places. Hide them in the corners of your house or back yard, and start a scavenger hunt for each special smell!
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Exploration Walking

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Easy
60 min
Items needed
Leash
Activity description
Walking is such an obvious activity, you might think, but it's definitely a more interesting experience when you deliberately take your dog on an unfamiliar path. Inspire your dog with new surroundings, just for a change of pace from the streets they already know and love. Sticking to nearby spots might make more sense due to the health of your dog, but taking a road trip to a new place once in a while can be of utmost difference. You will be surprised what a change of scenery can do to a simple activity. It might be a little harder, but it will expose your senior dog to not only a new place to have fun in, but a new memory. This can be done in all sorts of weather, but of course, on a cold rainy day choose an indoor activity. It costs little to nothing (unless you go to a private park with fees), and it's an easy and simple activity. You can walk for up to an hour depending on your dog's (and your own!) health.
Step
1
Find a new park or forest
If you don't live near a park or other similar terrain, scout the closest park and take a road trip to the nearest fun area - it will be a new experience for both you and your pup! Alternatively, ask friends for their favorite green space and give it a try. Remember to check the regulations of the area as to off-leash permission. Of course, do not allow your companion to be off-leash unless he has excellent recall skills.
Step
2
Incorporate a scavenger hunt
Induce curiosity and creativity with your senior dog and look around at the sights and smells; you can also enjoy playing a game of hide and seek or tracking in the new environment. While researching your scavenger hunt, you should also note the dangerous things you might find in the area. This is a must for the safety of your dog, who might attempt to consume or touch these harmful plants, insects, or animals.
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More Fun Ideas...

Swimming

Some - but not all - dogs are natural swimmers. Just being in the water is an exercise in itself! Swimming is a fun activity for both you and your senior dog that won't require them to use a lot of energy or put too much impact on their bones or muscles. The gentle flow of water could even be relaxing for your dog. Just make sure that your pal can instinctively paddle on their own, or equip them with safety equipment. Even if your dog can swim, add floaters if you want to be more confident in their swimming ability. Not only is it a safety measure, but you will also have cute pictures to remember the fun activity. We're estimating that more than half an hour can be too strenuous for an older canine, so keep the activity light and safe.

Trick Training

You might think that this is asking too much of your dog, but you can consider it. Without requiring your senior friend to leap or run, think of some commands that will build your dog's vocabulary and skill set. They don't have to be complicated tricks that might lead to broken bones or strained muscles. Simple tricks like a paw movement such as a "high five " is cute stuff from a senior dog!

Obedience Training

This calm activity may be one of the first things you actually trained your pet in, but reviewing these challenges can be fun brain work for your senior dog. This activity will emphasize good behavior and listening skills. It's a good throwback to one of the first training courses your dog probably received as a puppy - it's also a test of how well they retained these simple commands!

Conclusion

While you might not be able to go on full-fledged adventures with your senior dog, rest assured that you will still be able to find excellent activities to enjoy. Respect the limitations that older dogs may have with age, and remember they are still game to have fun! Exploring a variety of activities with your senior dog will not only improve health, but improve your bond. Never think that it's too late to play with your dog. You owe it to them to expand their horizons, no matter their age. While it's a sad thought that dogs don't live as long as humans, we must help them live their lives to the fullest. It's up to us to fill them with good memories at every age, and of course give them love that gives all lives meaning, no matter the number of years!