a group of dogs sitting next to each other.
30% Off
for New Dog
Boarding Clients!
Valid thru 9/30/23. *not applicable during major holidays
old dog walking gray hair

A Complete Guide to Exercising a Senior Dog (Part 2)


A Complete Guide to Exercising a Senior DogEven if your dog is not as energetic as it was when it was a puppy, it still needs exercise. Many conditions senior dogs have, actually improve with exercise and strengthening. Most senior dogs suffer from arthritis, illness, or injuries that affect their exercise ability. Exercise helps your senior dog maintain a healthy weight, and strengthen joints and muscles. Immobility can increase the risks of other conditions that might affect their health. We know how important it is to exercise your senior dog, so we have created a complete guide to exercising a senior dog.


Types of Exercises:

  1. Daily Walk: Walks are a great exercise for senior dogs. Older dogs joints and limbs can be sore in the morning, to get them ready for a walk, start with a warm-up. This can be as simple as walking around the backyard a couple of times. Make sure to start slow and remember that your dog may not be able to match your pace anymore. Follow your dog’s lead, if it is slowing down, you slow down with it, if it wants to stop, then stop. If you notice your dog starts to lag, even if it is just after a block, turn around and head home. Make sure to pay attention to the weather and the terrain so that your senior dog can exercise with ease. You can test the temperature of the ground by taking off your shoes. If it is too hot or cold for you, it probably is too hot or cold for your dog. Also, make sure you are walking your dog on even surfaces to protect its joints. You can also break up your dog’s walks into smaller chunks throughout the day to make it easier on your best friend.
    A Complete Guide to Exercising a Senior Dog
  2. Swimming: Swimming is a great way for senior dogs with arthritis or other conditions to get exercise. There are many benefits to swimming, vets even use it to rehabilitate injured dogs. The water takes the weight off of the joints and bones and allows them to strengthen muscles, joints, and hearts while being easy on the body. This is also a great way to keep your senior dog cool in summer. However, swimming will not be a beneficial exercise if your dog is not relaxed, or does not enjoy swimming. It is important to not let your dog swim without supervision, so be sure to be with your dog while it is swimming.
  3. Inside Exercises: If the weather isn’t suitable for outdoor activities there are several indoor exercises that can strengthen your elderly dog. If your dog can walk upstairs, you can walk them up and down slowly. However, pay attention to their signals and follow their lead. There are also cross-training exercises for dogs. These allow for isolation strengthening exercises and lets the other parts of the body rest. You can also play games with your dog like tug of war, again, you might have to go easier than you used to. Another indoor exercise is teaching your dog a new trick or set up some puzzle toys. Keeping your senior dog active will give them great mental stimulation. Keep in mind, if they don’t want to play, don’t get frustrated with them, simply move on to something different. You can also engage and exercise your dog by rolling a ball to them.

Exercising Tips:

old dog walking gray hair

  1. Get the ok from your vet: Before you start a new exercise routine, check with your vet to see what your dog can handle. Have them observe your dog’s movements, how they walk, sit, and lay down. Your vet will be able to give you an idea of how long and how hard they can go. They may also be able to help you plan an effective exercise routine and plan. Your vet will also be able to tell you if your dog will need a new diet, or pain medication to keep up with the exercise plan.
  2. Take it slow to start and build up, stay consistent: You can start with a little bit of the exercises and build up. For example, if you and your vet decided your dog needs to walk a mile every day, it might only be able to walk a couple of blocks to start. Keep an eye on the signs for pain and discomfort and follow their speed or lead. Your dog, like yourself, won’t be able to do intense exercises right away. You also have to be consistent. If the consistency isn’t there, they never will be able to build up and will remain at the starting point. However, if your dog is sore, you did too much and will have to ease back. When your dog isn’t sore, increase the exercise gradually.
  3. Massage your dog after: After exercising, help your dog relax and get comfortable so they can rest. You can also use heat to help loosen the muscles before massaging. Massages have several benefits and increase blood flow, circulation, flexibility, and muscle tone. Massages are also able to relieve tension and stiffness of joints. You can either find a dog massage therapist or learn some simple techniques here. There are also stretches you can do for your dog to help stretch their muscles. Here are some great stretches to help relieve your pet’s aches.A Complete Guide to Exercising a Senior DogJust because your dog is getting older, and they may not seem to want to exercise, your senior dog still needs to exercise. It will take time and effort to find out what works best for your dog and what your dog can handle. Make sure to keep your dog healthy and comfortable. They love spending time with you and will need you to encourage them to exercise.

Fon Jon Pet Care is a full-service doggie daycare and pet boarding facility located in San Diego. We offer training classes, in-lodge training, pet bathing and more. Call us today at (858)-280-3605 to learn more about Fon Jon.

The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not constitute veterinary advice. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information presented, it should not be considered as a substitute for professional veterinary guidance. Always consult a qualified veterinarian for specific advice tailored to your pet’s individual needs and health condition.

a group of dogs sitting next to each other.

20% Off
for New
Boarding Clients!
*not applicable during major holidays

a blue rectangle with a blue background.

Petcare articles

view all articles
A group of dogs and cats on a pink background.
August 31, 2023

The Benefits of Pet Socialization: A Guide to Safe and Effective Practices

Introduction Pet Socialization is an often overlooked yet essential part of pet ownership. No matter what age you got your pet, it’s important to teach them to learn to get along with other animals and people. Let’s explore the value…

A boston terrier dog yawning.
August 31, 2023

Understanding Pet Body Language: A Guide to Reading Your Canine Friend

Introduction Every day, without saying a word, our pets tell us what they’re thinking and feeling through their body language. Animals, like people, have their own distinct ways of communicating feelings, wants, and even danger. Understanding these nonverbal signs is…

dogs running on a grassland surrounded by fence
Photo from Wikimedia Commons
July 18, 2023

10 Essential Tips for Choosing the Right Dog Boarding Facility

When it comes to finding the right dog boarding facility, it’s essential to select one that ensures the well-being and happiness of your furry friend. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to make the best choice. However,…

a dog is petting a person's hand.
July 18, 2023

​​Making the Separation Easier: Pre-Boarding Tips for Dog Owners

Preparing your dog for a boarding stay is of utmost importance to ensure their well-being and reduce separation anxiety. Dogs are social creatures that thrive on routine and familiarity, so being separated from their owners can be stressful. However, with…

a dog eating out of a bowl with a frog on it.
July 18, 2023

What to Pack for Your Dog’s Boarding Stay: A Comprehensive Guide

When it comes to your furry friend’s boarding stay, thorough preparation is key to ensuring their comfort, safety, and well-being. Just like when you’re packing for your own trip, having a comprehensive packing list specifically tailored to your dog’s needs…

Gray Tabby cat in cat boarding house
July 1, 2023

Meow-tastic Escapes: Exploring the Benefits of Cat Boarding

We’ve all been there, right? Picture this: The palm trees are swaying in the images of the sun-soaked beach on your screen, beckoning you towards that much-needed vacation. But just as you’re about to click “book,” a set of gleaming…

a woman putting a towel on a cat.
July 1, 2023

Summer Bathing Guide: Keeping Your Cat Fresh and Clean in the Heat

As summer rolls in, a familiar scene unfolds for many cat owners. Amidst the swaying backyard foliage bathed in the golden sunlight, you spot your cat, gracefully stretched out, basking in the warm glow. Their fur, a magnificent coat that…

a group of dogs being walked on a leash.
June 5, 2023

Good Dog Etiquette for Happy Outings in Public

Good dog etiquette? It’s all about how we, as dog owners, make sure our furry friends behave nicely, especially when they’re around other folks or animals. We’re talking about things like keeping our dogs under control, making sure they’re not…

a dog running through the water with a tennis ball in its mouth.
June 5, 2023

Summer Fun with Your Dog: Beat the Heat and Keep Your Pup Happy

The season of sunshine, beach days, and ice cream cones has arrived, and what better way to enjoy it than with your beloved canine companion by your side? Let’s unleash the summer vibes and venture on a tail-wagging adventure! We’re…

a group of dogs standing next to each other.
June 2, 2023

Pawsitively Happy and Healthy Expert Care Tips for Your Canine Companion

Welcome, dog lovers, to a tail-wagging adventure filled with tips and tricks to keep your four-legged buddies pawsitively happy and healthy! We all know that our canine companions bring boundless joy to our lives, so it’s only fair that we…

a group of dogs standing next to each other.
May 16, 2023

Why Daycare Socialization is Pawsitively Good for Dogs

As a pet owner, you want nothing but the best for your furry friend. One of the ways to ensure that your dog lives a healthy and happy life is to provide them with opportunities for socialization. Daycare socialization for…

a dog is being examined by a veterinator.
May 2, 2023

Identifying And Alleviating Your Dog’s Seasonal Allergies

Common Allergies Affecting Dogs In Spring As the world comes back to life after winter’s slumber, there are a few pesky allergens lurking around that can make our dogs lives a little less enjoyable. Let’s dive into some of the…

Have a

Get a response within 24 hours

50% Off For New Special Clients!

Request Your Boarding Dates

20% Off For New Boarding Clients!

Request Your Boarding Dates