Q: As my dog gets older, how can I help him stay active?

June 4, 2010 | By Mary T. | 1 answer | Expired: 2062 days ago

Mary T.

Encourage your dog to keep doing what he’s always enjoyed — at a comfortable pace, of course — and to learn something new every day.

Just because your dog is slowing down a bit — a little arthritis, perhaps, and not the spectacular endurance he enjoyed as a young pup — that doesn’t mean his canine mind is retired. That cliché — about not being able to teach an old dog new tricks — does not apply to real dogs.

On the other paw, you have a lot of time and effort invested in training your canine companion — and you don’t want him to forget the old tricks, either. We’re talking about simple things like “Sit, stay” before eating dinner, before going through a door or crossing the street” or whatever the taken-for-granted routines are. Training is a life-long endeavor.

Next, help your dog learn something new — again within his physical limitations, of course. How about that the next level of obedience class? Or a canine sports activity geared for “masters” dogs. Older dogs that have “settled down” make some of the best pet-therapy volunteers.

This is not the time to let obesity or other infirmities slow down your canine companion. Special diets and dietary supplements — on the advice of your veterinarian — can extend life and enhance quality of life.

Readers' Answers (1)
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Jun 04, 2010

good...umm...*question*. as my dog aged and slowed down i tried teaching her different colors, until she started having mental limitations. the girls {semi} senile, but for awhile she was able to learn the color red. it was a great "game" for a dog who didn't want to run around anymore.

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