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Playing With A Senior Dog
January 24, 2023

Have you noticed that your canine companion isn’t as playful as he used to be? Just like people, dogs tend to slow down as they grow older. When Fido reaches his golden years, he’ll probably be more interested in chasing Z’s than chasing squirrels. However, playing will still be very beneficial to him. A Vinton, VA vet offers some advice on playing with a senior pooch in this article.

Choose A Safe Place

Slips and falls can be very dangerous for older pets. Be sure to pick a spot that has good traction. Ideally, it should also have a soft surface, such as a lawn or thick rug. That way, if your pooch does fall, he’s less likely to hurt himself. Don’t play with your fuzzy retiree near potential hazards, such as stairs, pools, or fireplaces.

Don’t Overexert Your Pup

One of the best things about dogs is the fact that they are so loyal. However, they will push themselves to and beyond exhaustion to please their owners. This can be dangerous, particularly for an older pup. You’ll still need to keep Fido fit and active with proper exercise. Playing is great for that! However, as your four-legged pal grows older, he’ll begin to tire out very quickly. Keep a close eye on Fido, and watch for signs of fatigue, such as panting or slowing down. As soon as you notice your pup losing steam, end the play session and let your furry bff get some rest.

Work Fido’s Mind, Not His Body

At this stage of your pup’s life, it’s also very important to keep his mind sharp. Choose games that provide mental stimulation and challenges over things that keep your canine buddy moving. Instead of playing Fetch or Frisbee, set up a scavenger hunt for your pooch. A doggy version of The Three Cups game is also a good bet.  


Keep Fido’s age in mind when picking toys. Your canine pal will likely be well past his chewing phase, and may prefer toys that are soft on his mouth. You may also find that your pup now prefers things that are easy to track, such as brightly-colored playthings.

Do you have questions or concerns about your dog’s health or care? We can help! As your Vinton, VA animal clinic, we are dedicated to helping you keep your furry friend happy and healthy.

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