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Playing With an Older Dog
July 15, 2020

Did you know that playing with your aging dog is one of the best things you can do for him? Playing will help keep Fido strong and fit physically. It also offers beneficial mental stimulation, which can help ward off cognitive decay. Plus, it’s both cute and fun! However, you’ll need to make some changes to your canine buddy’s playtime as he grows older. In this article, a Portland, OR vet offers advice on playing with a pup in his golden years. 

Time It Right

Dogs really thrive on routine. Try to play with Fido every day, at roughly the same time. You may find that both you and your furry friend both really look forward to this quality time!

Don’t Overdo It

Man’s Best Friend wants nothing more than to please his human pals. This can be a problem, as dogs will sometimes push themselves to the point of exhaustion to make their owners happy. Watch for signs of fatigue. If you notice any red flags, such as Fido slowing down or panting heavily, call it a day.

Choose The Right Toys

Opt for toys made specifically for older dogs. These may be softer on Fido’s mouth. If your pooch has vision problems, choose playthings that make noise. If he’s hard of hearing, pick ones that light up.

Choose A Safe Spot

Pick a spot with a soft surface, such as a grassy lawn or a thick rug. That way, Fido won’t get hurt if he falls. Don’t play near anything that poses a potential hazard, like pools, stairs, or fireplaces.

Work Fido’s Brain

As your cute pet grows older, he’ll grow progressively slower. Start choosing games that offer mental stimulation, instead of those that are physically demanding. For instance, you can play a doggy version of the Three Cups game with Fido. Turn three plastic cups upside down, and put a treat under one of them, and move them around. You can also do this by holding a doggy treat in your closed hand. Switch hands a few times, and have him pick which hand has the treat.

Enjoy It

The time we have to spend with our canine companions often passes in what seems like the blink of an eye. Savor this special time with your furry best friend!

Please contact us, your Portland, OR vet clinic, anytime. We’re here to help!

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