If you have an older dog, they may be starting to slow down or change how they move around. Just because your elderly dog might live differently than when they were an energetic pup, this does not mean that you have to stop playing with them! There are many alternative ways to enjoy playtime with your dog!
Hide and Seek
Hide and seek is a great game to use your dog’s instinct for hunting and using their sense of smell. Use small treats and hide them around your house and allow your dog to go searching for them. Make the hiding spots easy enough for your elderly dog to get to but allow this to keep them entertained for as long as possible. This is a simple and easy game that will not exert too much energy.
If you are wanting to give your dog a way to exercise and get their body moving without too much strain on their older bodies, taking them swimming is a great solution. Swimming is low impact and easy on joints and muscles, while still working and improving lung health as well as leg muscles. With this exercise, remember that your dog may tire quickly, and you may need to keep your sessions short.
52 Treat Pickup
Another very simple game that will get your dog outside and moving is the classic 52 pickup card game with a twist! Cut treats into small pieces and scatter them throughout your yard. Get your dog outside with you so they can see you scatter the treats, and cover as much ground as you can. This will allow your dog to get in exercise by moving around the yard and reward them in the process!
Just because your dog may be reaching an elderly age does not mean that playtime is over, it just may look different! These few things are just a starting point for ways of making games according to what your dog may need, so don’t be afraid to get creative!
Photo by Jean Alves: https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-person-petting-a-dog-2123773