Fulfil the physical and emotional needs of your senior dogs


A senior dog needs daily outings and exercise. Many people think that as a dog reaches his or her senior years, there is no longer a need to walk them because they don’t require much energy draining.

A senior dog might have reduced desire for physical exercise but his emotional need to feel fulfilled and stimulated by going on outings and experiencing nature has not changed.

In a multi-dog household I recommend walking your senior dog separately. Be guided by him and keep the walks short. I use an 8m long retractable leash for my 14.5 year old Golden Retriever. But he is well trained and will walk beautifully off-lead. The only reason we use it is to avoid a $200 fine from the ranger! If using a retractable leash, for safety, keep a good distance from other dogs and people.

Limit strenuous activities such as games of fetch and walking in deep grass or sand for long periods. These activities are fatiguing for a senior dog after a short time.

No matter how short or long the walk, don’t be distracted by your mobile phone, be present with your dog and celebrate each walk the way you did when he was a puppy.

Similar to caring for an elderly human, provide relaxation in the form of massages. Help them if they have trouble going up and down stairs. Use physical aids like ramps and harnesses if you have to. And most important of all, be patient and protect them.

He might be slower, hard of hearing and sight but he still loves you unconditionally. Embrace and enjoy every moment with your senior dog for your time together could be numbered.