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Playing With a Senior Dog

Is your canine pal starting to slow down with age? Fido may not be as frisky or playful as he once was, but regular play sessions will still benefit him both mentally and physically. Read on as a local New Orleans, LA vet offers tips on playing with your senior dog.

Choose Senior-Friendly Toys

Look for toys made specifically for older dogs. These are often a bit softer than other toys, so they will be gentler on your pet’s mouth. Your four-legged friend may also enjoy toys that light up or make noise, as they will be easier for him to track.

Keep It Routine

Pets really thrive when they are on a set schedule. Try to play with your dog every day, at roughly the same time.

Opt For Soft Ground

Play with your furry friend on soft surfaces, like carpet or grass. Also, stay away from stairs, pools, ledges, or other hazards. That way, you don’t have to worry about Fido slipping and falling.

Avoid Vigorous Activity

Don’t encourage your canine buddy to jump or stand on his hind legs. This puts a lot of strain on his hips, which can be very damaging for pooches with arthritis and/or hip dysplasia.

Time It Right

Do you go outdoors for doggy playtime? In summer, play with your pet in the mornings or evenings, when it’s cooler out. Also, make sure Fido always has plenty of fresh water.

Don’t Overdo It

Dogs often try to please their owners. Fido may push himself to keep playing if he thinks you want him to. Watch for signs of fatigue, such as panting or just slowing down. As soon as you think your pooch has had enough, call it a day.

Brain Games

Eventually, Fido may get tired after fetching a single ball. Choose activities that offer more mental stimulation than physical activity. You can play a doggy version of the classic ‘Cups’ game. Hide a treat under one of three plastic cups, switch them around, and have your pup ‘pick’ which one has the treat. Hide and seek is another good option. Hide in a closet or behind a door, and call your four-legged friend. Or, hide toys or treats around the house for him to find.

Do you have questions about caring for a senior dog? Contact us, your local New Orleans, LA vet clinic, today!

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