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Keeping a Senior Dog Active

November 1, 2018

Is your canine buddy entering—or already in—his golden years? Fido will slow down as he ages, but he’ll still need regular activity to stay strong and healthy. Read on as a local Roanoke, VA vet offers some helpful tips on keeping Fido active in his golden years.


While every dog has slightly different exercise needs, most pooches need at least a daily walk. Fido may be tired out after a short stroll around the block, so be careful not to overdo it. You may find that you really enjoy taking a slow walk with your furry best friend!

Warm-Water Swims

Warm-water swimming can be a great activity for older dogs. It’s much easier on Fido’s bones and joints than walking or running. Of course, this isn’t a one-size fits all recommendation. Swimming isn’t a good option for every pooch. Ask your vet for specific advice.


Your canine friend will slow down as he ages, and won’t be as playful or frisky as he was when he was a puppy. However, he may still have occasional bouts of the zoomies. Toss a ball for your pup now and then, and see if he goes for it. Just be sure not to encourage your furry pal to do anything that could put too much strain on his back or legs. For example, if Fido is developing arthritis or hip dysplasia, don’t try to make him jump or stand on his hind legs. For more tips on caring for your senior canine, check out our comprehensive guide to ‘Senior Dog Care’.


While a younger pooch may be able to walk for half an hour or even an hour, senior dogs tend to tire out much more quickly than that. You may need to break Fido’s workouts up into smaller segments. For instance, give your furry friend a few 10 or 15 minute walks instead of a few long ones.


Keep a close eye on your canine companion as you are walking him, and watch for signs that he is getting hot or tired. Some of the things to look for include panting, drooling, lagging behind, and a warm back. If your four-legged friend seems like he’s had enough, give him a water break, and then take him back inside and let him relax. If you notice any concerning changes in Fido’s behavior, our ‘Behavioral Counseling’ services can help address them.

Please reach out to us, your Roanoke, VA vet clinic, for all of your senior dog’s veterinary care needs. We are dedicated to offering great veterinary care!

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