Tips for Exercising a Senior Dog

Is your canine buddy going grey around the muzzle? As Fido grows older, you may need to adjust his care routine a bit. One area that you may need to make some changes in is your pup’s activity regimen. Here, a local Greensboro, NC vet discusses exercising senior dogs.

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Fido’s exact exercise requirements will depend very much on his age, breed, weight, and health. That said, most dogs—even senior pooches—require at least a daily walk. Ask your vet for recommendations.

Keep Up With Paw Care

Overgrown nails are often a problem with senior dogs, in part because they don’t wear their nails down by running around the way younger pups do. If Fido’s claws get too long, they’ll become quite uncomfortable. Your pet may have to change his stride to compensate, which will put extra strain on his bones and joints. He may also have trouble gaining traction on slippery surfaces. Be sure to keep your dog’s nails clipped!

Watch Conditions

Senior dogs have a harder time dealing with heat and cold than their younger counterparts. Be careful not to overexert Fido in hot or cold weather. Also, try to avoid taking him from hot-to-cold environments, or vice-versa, too often or rapidly.

Consider Swimming

Swimming can be great exercise for older dogs! Because Fido’s weight will be supported by water, it’s pretty easy on his bones and joints. Warm-water swims can also be very beneficial. Just be sure to ask your vet first. Of course, this won’t be right for every pup. Not every pooch is well-suited for swimming. And if Fido never liked water before, it’s probably too late to change his mind. Finally, always put your dog’s safety first: never leave him unattended near water.

Avoid Overexertion

Older dogs can get tired very quickly. Keep a close eye on Fido. If he starts lagging behind or panting, take him in. Also, don’t encourage your pooch to jump or stand on his hind legs. This can put a lot of stress on his bones and joints!


Fido’s golden years are a very special time. Enjoy them! You may find that you really love taking a nice, relaxing stroll with your furry best friend plodding along faithfully at your side.

Please contact us, your Greensboro, NC animal clinic, for your senior dog’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

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