Exercise for older pets

Exercise is vital for keeping your pet healthy, both in body and mind, and never more so as they get older. Regular exercise will help keep muscles strong,maintain heart function and prevent weight gain. This page relates mainly to dogs, but there are things that can be done to help older cats as well!

‘Little and often’

Geriatric animals will often have arthritic type conditions and while they can often keep going on long walks, they can stiffen up the next day, more regular, shorter walks will help to keep joints moving.

‘Keep strong!’

Daily exercise will help to build stamina and muscle strength, this is particularly important if your pet has stiff joints as strong muscles will help protect them.

‘Keep active, keep interested!’

Getting out and about with your pet will also help to keep their mind active and interested. Too often older dogs are stuck in the house, which can make them depressed and withdrawn.

‘Fit not fat’

Regular exercise is vital for keeping your dogs weight under control. Obesity contributes to many health problems, and if your pet remains the correct weight, they will live a longer and happier life.

‘A healthy body means a healthy heart’

Heart problems are common in older dogs, especially the terrier and spaniel breeds, regular exercise will help maintain heart function, and fitness, often reducing the need for medication.

‘Keep regular!’

Regular exercise means good bowel health! Allowing your dog ample opportunity to empty his bowels reduces the chances of constipation, and of accidents in the house.

Please note this is an advice only website, if you have any specific concerns or queries about your pet, you should contact your vet.