Importance of Exercise for Aging Pets

​As humans age, our doctors are constantly pushing us to watch our diet, continue to be active and try and keep excess weight off. Our joints, mental health, cardiac health and general wellbeing decline rapidly the more we age if we live an unhealthy lifestyle and dont take care. So, my question is this: Why does it seem to be so different for our pets?

After being in the veterinary field for 7+ years, I can confidently tell you that a large portion of the senior pets we see are overweight and suffering from some form of arthritic/joint discomfort that is exacerbated by the excess pounds. In most cases, it seems that senior pet parents simply do not know how to care for their senior pet as they continue to age. So, what do we do?

I have utilized several tactics to keep my senior furbabies active and healthy over the years. One of my favorite options is swimming or hydrotherapy. While the buoyancy of the water reduces stress on joints, it also helps your pet keep the weight off and greatly improves their mental health. Little daily activities like cramming in that extra 15 minutes for a walk, scent training and tracking for treats or throwing the ball can make all the difference. Just remember, small steps are better than no steps leading to a longer, stronger and healthier senior life.

If you are interested in starting an exercise program for your dog, you can follow the links:
Paws Aquatics Water Sports and Rehab
Healing Arts: Animal Care