Tips to Help Your Senior Dog Live Their Best Life
Tips to Help Your Senior Dog Live Their Best Life
Jun 12, 2024 - Antelopepets

Every dog owner can probably agree that having a dog enriches their life and brings them limitless amounts of joy. It’s only fair, then, that we return the favor and enrich their lives as a thank you! As our pups age and go through their senior years, what can we do to help make sure they are still living life to the fullest despite age-related limitations? 

Mental stimulation

Mental stimulation is great for any age dog, but especially for senior dogs! In many cases senior dogs are less physically active than they used to be, but their brain still works just fine. They may not be able to chase a ball or run and play like they used to, but exercising their brain can be just as fun. Here are a few DIY mental stimulation activities you can play:

Towel Game

Using an old towel or blanket, fold or roll some treats in the towel so that your dog has to figure out how to uncover the treats using their paws, nose, or mouth! You can roll the towel tighter or in different ways to increase the difficulty.

Hide and Seek

Take a treat with a distinctive smell that your dog loves and hide it somewhere in your house for them to seek out using their nose. The first few times, hide the treat somewhere easy but you can make it more difficult as they gain experience. You can even hide multiple treats once they get the hang of it.

Sniffari Walks

Many senior dogs struggle with physical activity and can’t go for the same brisk walk or run that they did when they were younger. A slower-paced walk may be just what they need! Sniffari walks are perfect for this because they are strictly at your dog’s pace. Find a nice, grassy area or a place to walk with lots of smells and allow your dog to choose where they walk. Allow them to explore and sniff as much as they want. Sniffing burns mental energy and is lots of fun for dogs. If your dog needs a little incentive to start sniffing, toss some treats to encourage foraging. You can even work on improving their joints in the process by tossing Happy Joints treats! For sniffaris like this, 15-20ft leads are great to allow safe roaming to sniff. Your dog will end their walk feeling fulfilled and ready for a nap on a comfy bed. 

Home Modifications 

If your senior dog struggles with mobility, you can make some simple changes to your home to help them feel more secure. Placing non-slip rugs or other non-slip floor covering in areas where your senior pup spends time walking around can help keep them from struggling on slippery floors. If your dog has mobility issues or struggles with stairs, ramps may be helpful ont the joints. This may also help your dog feel more comfortable when moving around the house.

If you need inspiration for tools and treats to help your aging dog, find senior-specific options here!