Dogs have been our companions since puppyhood. It’s always easy for us to see their old age, but we can do things to help them cope. Some of these include providing him the best food according to his age.
In addition, exercise is enough to ensure he is living his best life. Another technique to keep your dog healthy is to make a few mentally challenging activities into his life, make a difference in his daily routine, or move him to new places.
Though older dogs may be your prime, don’t count them for good old days. It would help if you kept older dogs active to deal with more dangerous diseases as they age. They will not have similar energy as in earlier years.
However, that doesn’t mean they don’t want to spend their youth games and have fun. It is your job to discover the suitable activities that will be useful for your dog’s age and interests.
There is a strong possibility that you may add a few years to your dog’s life. Fetch, and Frisbee may be out of the picture, but there is an entire universe of light and relaxation that your pet can still do in every situation. There are numerous ways you may have fun with your old-timer!
Here are some thoughts to help you keep your senior dog happy and healthy, and as always, get him involved in your daily activities as much as possible.
1. The Shell game
It can be challenging for those with senior dogs with mobility problems, such as arthritis or hip dysplasia, to find fun and rewarding sports without physical activity, as chasing balls for long walks and runs is over now. But that’s a good thing.
The shell game permits you to draw in your canine’s intellectual ability with almost no movement. This is a different version of the old shell game, where the viewer has to decide which of the 3 cups the ball exists in.
Now, you will change the traditional ball with a delightful doggie treat, which will be used to involve and reward your dog. There are many ways to do this. Primarily, you can take three paper cups, put a tidbit under one of them, and start moving them around.
Encourage your dog to find a treat. If you do not have a cup, use your hands. Hold the invitation in the palm of one hand, close both fists, and start to move your hands around you, cheering your senior to smell outside and find the treat.
2. Activity Toys – From the exciting activities for senior Dogs
As your dog’s movements can be hindered by aging, looking for specially designed toys is essential to sharpen their senses. Luckily, there are toy companies for your pets that concentrate on motivating their brain.
One of these companies is Trixie Dog Toy company, situated in Germany. They have a collection of 15 items dedicated to this topic, called Dog Activity Strategy Game. The goal is to present your senior dog with new and thrilling challenges without taxing his physical strength.
Including the toys such as; Slide and Feed, the Windmill, Solitaire, Gambling Tower, and Flipboard, to name a few.
For example, Trixie’s Flipboard is an exciting toy that challenges your dog to detect a scented treat, then try to know how to ‘flip’ different shapes to find joy. If you look at how the dog gets to the end of the video, he catches on with it, turns the plastic shapes, and learns to move both levers.
If nothing on Trixie’s site attracts your concentration, then distinguish that puzzle toys for dogs are available from various pet toy makers.
3. Turn Your Older Dog into a Therapy Dog
You know that older dogs make therapy animals. Senior dogs are a welcome guest, providing comfort to the elderly in nursing homes, hospitals, schools, and libraries.
Therapy dogs are different from service dogs. Service dogs need in-depth training to meet the needs of their owners. Therapy Dogs, however, can be a dog that is calm, well-behaved, and not disobedient. So, the old dog is perfect for this job.
As a therapy dog, you and your dog can move to new places, meet new people, and have the opportunity to do so at all times. If you think your old dog will benefit from becoming a therapy dog, contact the Good Dog Foundation, which is a great place and will provide you with a timetable of their classes.
They give you a short and easy course, which provides you with a certificate of completion at the end of the course.
4. Long Car Rides – One of the easiest activities for senior dogs
Let’s face it – most dogs like to be in cars with their owners. Often, you have to open the car door, signal the dog to enter, and they are impatiently bound.
Well, for one thing, these are the sensory stimuli they receive. As we all know, dogs with more than 200 million olfactory receptors, compared to our 50 million, the smell in dogs that travel in long vehicles.
One more advantage is the change of scenery. The dog has to experiment with new places without taking a single step. This is especially important for those with hip dysplasia or arthritis.
They still become brave and do so without any pain or hardship. As always, don’t forget to stop for a tasty treat! Also, if you have a small to medium-sized dog, consider buying a dog for a walk and taking them for long rides in the neighborhood.
5. Scent Work or Treasure Hunts
Treasure hunting is something your dog will love, and it can turn your home or backyard into a reliable adventure for your best friend. All you need is some essential work from you and some exciting and proud treats around the house or beyond.
The purpose of this activity is to mobilize their olfactory senses. Moreover, permit your dog to make full use of their scent in a good and fun way. Two basic techniques have been used to establish this activity.
The first involves “dragging.” Now, you take something, like one of your shirts, or maybe a dog bone, and tie it up to a rope or leash.
The idea is to spread the scent into the house or yard. Have some fun here and make your dog enjoyable. You can simplify it or make it easier to remove obstacles.
Towards the finish point of the drag trail, make sure to have a flavorful prize hanging tight for him! The other way includes taking individual objects, such as dog treats, and hiding them. Your dog should now use its sense of smell to find and undress things.
You can find your dog through boxes for treats, hide them under bushes or behind seats, you guessed it. Indeed, this is a fun activity. So it is suitable for you to give your dog some gestures from time to time!
All you see here is just the tip of the iceberg. The market is full of dog toys that help keep your seniors motivated and connected. Moreover, local dog trainers are waiting to help you when needed.
Remember, older dogs can cause hopelessness, and if their health changes, they may be deprived of their daily activities. On the other hand, once your dog’s mobility slows down, take the dog to the park every day.
By looking for extra activities for senior dogs, you can be assured that they will still feel a part of your life as their condition changes with their past activities.