You may not be able to teach an old dog new tricks but you can definitely teach old dogs new games.
Did you know that once a dog is 7 years of age, they’re classed as “senior”?.
Some of the changes that you may see in your dog when they reach this age is their mobility slowing down. This could be due to arthritis or other degenerative diseases which could make it difficult for them to get up onto a high bed or up and down stairs. It’s important to make their living and sleeping arrangements as comfortable as possible as to not stress them out or cause extra physical strain.
Feeding your senior dog a high quality diet will help diminish health issues such as diabetes, skin disease and cancer.
Provide plenty of toys to keep your senior dog occupied. Remember that just because they’re physically slowing down, it doesn’t mean that they won’t be interested in toys and games anymore.
One really simple game is to scatter dry food around the back yard. Dogs naturally sniff for their food. You could set the food out in a trail-form so that they have to sniff for it and move around to find it.
Another game that senior dogs enjoy is the simple “fetch”. Be mindful that your dog probably won’t be able to run long distances anymore so keep the distance short and be aware of when your dog starts showing signs of tiredness.
Hide and Seek – Position yourself and a friend at two different points in your home. Take turns in calling out to the dog and offer a treat once you’ve been found. Keep changing positions so your dog is looking for you in different areas of the house.
Puzzle toy feeders are great as your dog will need to figure out how to get the treat out and “work” for it.