Pets are a forever part of the family. But when they start to get older, they come with new challenges. However, keeping them healthy can be the perfect way to help your dog live their best life well into its golden years.
Furthermore, just like people who are older or disabled, it can be harder for them to exercise regularly. So let’s look at the best activities for senior dogs. And many of these can be used for disabled furry friends too.
When Is My Pet Considered a Senior?
There’s no one answer to this. For small rodents, this could be after a year, whereas a cat might not be a senior until after the age of 11.
Different breeds of dogs will also vary. The smaller the dog, the longer they will live. A Great Dane might be considered a senior at 5, whereas a Pug might not be regarded as a senior for another 5 years.
When it comes to cats, it can be just as complicated. Commonly senior cats are 11 and older. However, because they can live to be upwards of 25 years, it’s hard to tell sometimes. Also, indoor cats will live longer, so you have that factor.
Cleen teeth are a critical part of a healthy life for pets. Make sure to check out the natural chews that Barking Buddha has to offer.
The Best Activities For Senior and Disabled Pets
Disabled and elderly pets will still need exercise. However, you will need to adjust how your pet exercises because of flexibility and mobility issues. Fortunately, there are a variety of activities for your pet that don’t rely solely on walking or running.
Disclaimer: Please be sure to talk with your vet about your specific animal’s restrictions and limitations. Not every exercise is a good fit for everyone, despite how inclusive we try to be.
Indoor Exercise for Disabled Pets
Going outside can be an adventure that many pets love. However, if your pet has a disability, it could make outside time painful. Animals with arthritis might not like the cold weather, or rain might make wheelchair walks hard. So having some fun things to do inside can be a big help in keeping your pet active.
When done in controlled and supervised circumstances, this mild exercise helps pets use a full range of motion, works their heart, and enhances muscular tone. While not all pets enjoy the water, many dogs benefit from the workout. Just be sure to keep your pet’s head safely above water at all times and dry their ears out when you’re done.
Hide and Seek
Keeping your pet’s brain stimulated can help keep your pup feeling young. Some of the best activities dogs can enjoy at home include hide-and-seek. Don’t worry cats, birds, and other pets can all partake in this one. Utilize treats or a favorite toy and hide them around the house. If your dog uses a wheelchair, just be sure the room isn’t too crowded.
Games With Toys
While mom always said never to play ball in the house, you might want to make an exception here. Currently, there are a ton of different interactive toys on the market for pets of all kinds.
This might be every pet’s favorite activity. However, this usually works best for larger animals like cats, dogs, horses, bunnies, etc. While your pet is resting, lightly massage the primary muscular areas, starting with the top of the body and working your way down to the back legs. Use only enough pressure to be felt but not enough to cause discomfort.
Be Mindful!: While humans enjoy essential oils during their massages, don’t use these products or lotions on your pet because some may have harmful effects.
Even though disabled and elderly pets might have a more challenging time with regular exercise, that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy some time outside. However, you will need to be mindful of their limitations and help them get the most out of their time outdoors.
Even if your pet has some mobility problems, it can still enjoy a walk. It can be a short one just out to the mailbox or down the street. There are also many different carriers for different pets that might not walk on a leash.
Car Ride for A Pupachino
If your pet doesn’t get stressed out in the car, take a little car ride to a local Starbucks (or your favorite local coffee shop) and ask for a Pupachino or a small cup of whipped cream. It’s not something you want to do daily, but it can make for an extra special treat.
Home Modifications for Elderly or Disabled Pets
It might be challenging for an elderly or disabled pet to go through their house. While you may have fantastic plans to make it a wonderful home for your best friend, anything from steep steps to hardwood floors might stand in the way. Fortunately, there are several options for adapting your property to theirs.
- Make it easy for them to go outside: Elderly or handicapped pets may need to go to the toilet more frequently than younger animals. Providing quick and safe access could prevent your pet from having an accident.
- Utilize retractable gates: As pets get older, you may not want them entering specific rooms or potentially dangerous areas of the house. There are various options, such as retractable gates, crates, and pens.
- Add pet ramps: Both senior and disabled pets can benefit from having ramps. Placing these in common areas can help keep your pet safe while being involved. Perfect for stairs, couches, or just uneven spaces.
- Modify the flooring: Making sure your home is safe for your pet can be an easy way to keep them moving. For example, if your pet needs a wheelchair, you might want smooth flooring whereas, a dog with arthritis might do better with a plush rug.
Financial Resources for Elderly or Disabled Pets
Caring for elderly or disabled pets can easily add additional or unexpected expenses. If you are struggling to find funds, consider the following list of pet financial aid options:
- Handicapped Pets Foundation: The Handicapped Pets Foundation is a nonprofit organization that serves elderly and disabled pets alike. They are well-known for providing wheelchairs to animals in need.
- Hailey’s Wheels For Life: Hailey’s Wheels For Life is a nonprofit organization based out of Australia. They also sometimes help with other financial needs. You can reach this organization through its Facebook page.
- Waggle: Waggle is a unique crowdfunding website for supporting and financing pets’ needs.
- The Pet Fund: The Pet Fund is a nonprofit organization that provides financial help to pet parents whose pet requires emergency care.
- Dogs on Deployment: Dogs on Deployment provides financial support for qualifying service members and veterans.
Caring for elderly or disabled pets can be costly, but many resources are available to help. But these best activities for senior dogs can help.
Whether you need a wheelchair for your pet, ramps to get around the house, or just financial assistance, these organizations will do their best to help you and your furry friend live a comfortable life together. And together, your pet can enjoy life well into its golden years.
Want the best life for your furry best friend? Barking Buddha is taking the natural way to keeping pet’s happy and healthy no matter what they’ve been through. Barking Buddha offers chews for all types of dogs. Shop today for a happier dog.