How to Keep Dogs Moving as They Get Older

Just like we all slow down as we get older, your dog can start to become a little slower too. Their old bones may not be able to cope with running around as much as in their youth, especially in certain breeds that experience joint issues. But even if your dog is slowing down, it’s important to try and keep them moving for as long as possible. If your dog puts on weight, it could only make the situation worse, making it harder for them to move without pain and fatigue. If you want to help your dog stay active through the years, try these tips:

How to Keep Dogs Moving as They Get Older

Supplement Their Diet

What your dog eats makes a significant difference to their health. Managing your dog’s weight is an important way to keep them moving. The right food in the right amounts will provide adequate nutrition for a healthy lifestyle. Supplementing your dog’s diet is also a good idea. You can use healthy dog treats that are formulated to support their joints. Treats are often a good way to motivate dogs but too many of them can lead to weight gain. Healthier treats can help to keep your dog moving and support their health in old age.

Adjust Your Walks

As your dog starts to slow down, you might have to reconsider your walking routine. A dog that enjoyed three daily walks or long walks at the weekend might not be able to manage it when they get older. You might need to think about taking shorter or less challenging walks, or perhaps walking your dog less frequently. There are times when a few minutes in the garden might be preferable to a proper walk. Plenty of older dogs do still like to stay active but they might not be able to go as far or as fast as they used to.

Try Some Hydrotherapy

Swimming and water are excellent for dogs that are starting to get aches and pains in their old age. The water helps to support them and makes it possible to do low-impact exercise. One option for swimming is simply to go to some favorite, local swimming spots. But you can also look for places that offer hydrotherapy for dogs. This will allow your pooch to get some gentle exercise in a controlled and safe environment. They will get to paddle in a pool and spend some time with friendly therapists too.

Communicate with Your Vet

It’s important to communicate with your vet about what your dog is capable of. Your vet can advise on how to keep your dog active without pushing too hard. They can suggest activities, whether it’s some gentle agility, going for short walks, or hydrotherapy. Your vet can also help if your dog is having trouble moving or seems to be in pain. They can diagnose conditions like arthritis and make sure your dog has the correct treatment.

As your dog gets older, think of ways to keep them moving for their health and happiness.


Married for eons, mom of 10, Nonnie to 26 with a great grand coming soon, to add to the mix. Avid reader and photo taker, scrapbook queen and jewelry maker. Collector of dishes, planners and pens. Lover of animals, chocolate and spends…long hours soaking in the spa tub (with a fully charged tablet, diet soda, and grub). She’s worn lots of hats, tossed most to the wind, and doesn’t mind starting all over again. Every day is a new adventure…come along for the ride!

Libby has 4359 posts and counting. See all posts by Libby

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