Increased time spent sleeping is common with senior dogs. Old dogs may seem content to sleep the day away, and with our busy lifestyles we are often happy to let them do so. Because of this, a lot of senior dogs get what some call The ‘Shrinking World’ Syndrome. The dog doesn’t get as much stimulation and enrichment and there’s a significant decline in mental and physical challenges, leading to a kind of depression and a decrease in cognitive abilities.
While he may not be able to handle a vigorous hike like he used to, he should still get regular exercise and mental stimulation. As with our own bodies, exercise benefits old dogs in many ways, keeping muscles toned and minds clearer. Making the time for gentle exercise and games will keep the muscles from atrophy, and an old dog’s mind engaged in the world around him.
Senior Field Trips
30 Minute Field Trip – $20
All dogs benefit greatly from taking a break from their normal routine. Just the act of taking the dog out of his usual environment to explore new surroundings is enormously exciting. There are new scents to smell and sights to see. The activity of other dogs, people, and wildlife, as well as the smells and textures of dirt and grass and leaves, will give your dog a welcome adventure.
So whether your dog is old and/or disabled and cannot participate in the high energy sports they once enjoyed, there is still an adventure awaiting them. For many dogs a ride in the car is an adventure in itself; a slow leisure walk along the river, park or forest preserve, a visit to dog friendly venues and pet stores, or even a picnic under some shady trees can be very enriching for the four legged type!