Just like in humans, age in dogs hinders so many actions. Your puppy today will be an adult in a few months or years and then become old.
How fast your dog ages and his life expectancy is dependent on the breed. While some breeds are known to live up to age sixteen in the human calendar.
Some dogs only get to live up to age thirteen. Such facts asides, depending on the breed of your dog, his functions are going to become slower with time. As a pet parent, you have to be ready for both the active and inactive years of your dog.
Running forms among the most common bonding exercises you can engage in with your dog. However, if he is now old, you could be wondering if he is still in a good shape to run. There are some ways through which you can tell if your dog can still run.
If you are looking to establish whether the time has come for your dog to just relax and stay home. Here are some of the signs you should look at.
Visit a vet to rule out old age conditions
Old age in dogs comes with various complications. If your dog is now at an age you can call old, you should take him for a health check. Older dogs are known to develop complications with their legs due to age.
Visiting a vet will help you know whether your dog has a clean bill of health. Your older dog has obviously been using his legs longer hence stress on his limbs. If you are a running fanatic and you have been running with your dog for years.
The stress on his legs could be greater than a dog who rarely runs. Due to the degeneration of the cartilage and bones in the legs, your dog stands a risk of diseases like osteoarthritis.
Such a disease in dogs can even happen naturally due to age. Therefore knowing whether your dog is clear of old age diseases is very important.
With a vet visit, you can know whether your dog can still run or you should desist completely.
The breed of the dog
Some breeds like the Labrador and German shepherd in nature have some conditions which affect limbs. For a German shepherd for example even before he gets old will be prone to hip dysplasia. In short, the growth of the hips of a German shepherd is not normal and never gets better with age.
Actually younger German shepherds can cope well with the condition but later the signs will begin to show. You will even note your dog becoming slower hence hindering most of his movements.
Therefore before you take your old dog out for a run, first are you aware of his breed? If so, are you privy to such facts about the type of breed you have?
Mostly when you buy dogs that are bound to naturally have old age joint complications, you might not get full details. For now, your dog’s breed should inform you whether those runs can go on or not.
Has your dog been in any accident recently? If yes, then you should know for older dogs, accidents greatly affect their motion. Even walking can be a challenge therefore running would be almost impossible.
Even chasing a toy for an older dog can cause an injury. He even doesn’t have to fall down. If the dog is older and is a bit overweight, you should expect anterior and posterior injuries.
Anterior means the front part of a dog’s body. Posterior on the other hand means the behind the part. If your dog gets injuries, therefore, movement more so running is going to be hard.
Less walking and exercise
Dogs love some play no matter how old they are. If possible older dogs would wish for ease of mobility. Also if your dog has been your running partner for ages, you will be able to note if any changes occur to his motion.
If your vet has given your dog a clean bill of health and is still slow when running or walking. You should look at other possible causes. Eliminate every possible factor ranging from sickness, obesity to accidents.
The reason being, you should be sure your view on the dog’s inactiveness is from a point of thorough observation.
If such factors are absent, then your dog would be too old to go for a run. Dogs who are fairly old will always be up for a run even though at a considerable motion.
If your dog which has been a loyal running partner for ten years recently wants to just to sleep. Time for old age rest is finally here.
Your dog gets tired after just a few meters of running
A younger dog will go the entire kilometers when you bring him along for a run. However, if you have taken note he no longer can’t take even a corner in the neighborhood trails.
His age can be a factor. Older dogs give up on running after a few meters. You might have to even carry him back home. The older your dog gets the more he becomes more like a baby.
Once you take him out on exhausting exercises, he can just surrender and sit down. Older dogs can still be active in other areas like indoor activities just to keep them fit. Running just happens not to be among the exercises or activities he can engage in.
How to spend time with your older dog
For convenience, you might have to limit exercising to your home environment especially indoors. Helping your older dog exercise will keep them physically fit.
Older dogs become obese because of a lack of exercise. Remember your dog is just older not hopeless.
Help him experience some physical stimulation by trying to run up and down the stairs. Encourage him to take the staircase by giving him treats. Old age doesn’t stop the excitement dogs have towards treats.