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4 Tips for Walking with Tour Senior Dog
Walking your dog is a fundamental part of being a dog owner, but it seems, as your dog ages and becomes a older senior dog, that walks become more and more difficult. It is hard watching your best friend age. It is particularly watching your older dog in pain.
Going for a walk with your senior dog can be gruelingly difficult for not only you, the owner, but your senior dog as well. Below are four tips that will help take the pain of aging from you and your older dog's walks.
It may seem like stating the obvious, but your senior dog is no spring chicken. The walks and runs you took her on as a puppy are not suitable for her as a senior dog. You are the human; you need to be the one to set the limits for your dog. She wants to go on a walk with you, and most dogs will try to keep walking with their owners, even after their bodies tell them to stop.
Dogs want to please. As they age they know that they don’t feel like they did when they are younger. Older dogs can become depressed over this, just like humans do. Senior dogs can also become depressed if they think that they have fallen from your favor.
If your dog believes that walking with you, despite her body telling her to stop, will please you, she will do it, even if it means injury to her. She will also do it because she likes to. Walks are fun! She gets to go outside, sniff the air, see the neighborhood, and do dog things. You need to be the one to set the limits.
If your older dog tends to tire after five minutes of walking, don’t push her beyond her limit! She will be happy to walk those five minutes with you. If she still wants to spend time outside, but is unable to continue to walk, sit on the porch with her, sit on a park bench with her; put her in the backyard. Just because she is and older dog doesn’t mean she doesn’t want and need to spend time outside.
Perhaps you have another, younger dog. Walking a senior dog and a puppy is not fair to the senior dog. Puppies want to play, they want to run around, they want to wrestle, and they have boundless energy. Your senior dog will see that the puppy wants to play, and she will know that she can’t play like she used to. Her walk will be spent either attempting to play with the younger dog, which can lead to injury, or she will spend the walk wishing she could play, but knowing she can’t, which isn’t good for her either.
Let her know that you still care about her. Take your older dog on thier own walk. It is their special time. Most senior dogs tend to need shorter walks and less play time than puppies, so spending a few extra minutes to walk your senior dog alone will not take a significant amount of time. It will mean more than you know to your dog, and that could make all the difference.
It is not uncommon for senior dogs have pain after they wake up from sleeping. Perhaps they just slept at the wrong angle, or perhaps their dog bed isn’t providing the support they need. Consider not only investing in a dog bed, but a good orthopedic memory foam dog bed. Traditional stuffed dog beds are not ideal for senior dogs. Orthopedic memory foam dog beds can truly comfort your senior dog, especially if they have joint problems or arthritis.
Memory foam is a special type of foam that reacts to body weight and body temperature. This reaction allows the foam to mold to your older dog’s body, eliminating all pressure points. If your senior dog was to sleep with no part of her body being pressed upon any more than any other part, imagine how your dog would feel when she woke up. She would have significantly less pain. She would want to and be able to walk farther.
When shopping for a memory foam dog bed, consider visiting BuddyBeds.com as their website does a good job at over viewing what goes into a well made memory foam dog bed.
Some senior dogs have hip dysplasia or elbow dysplasia, or perhaps one of their legs just doesn’t work as well as it did. Consider buying a special harness that will allow your dog to walk with less effort and pain. Such harnesses can support the dog’s hips, front legs, or entire body. These harnesses can be used to take your senior dog on a walk with less pain.
Keeping these four tips in mind when walking with your senior dog can help reduce your dog’s pain and increase the amount of time you spend walking with your dog.
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