Doesn’t it always seem that those energetic youngsters get all the attention and focus? What about the senior dogs that generally mind their own business, stay out of the way and couldn’t be bothered to get up and bark out the window? And because they aren’t causing a nuisance for you is the perfect reason to do something special with them.
Older pups typically don’t need as much exercise as their younger counterparts, however, enrichment activities can help them stay occupied and keep their minds working. They’ll appreciate the extra attention, and you’ll appreciate not having to work up a sweat on the trail for once.
Here are some fun, simple, low-key enrichment activities that you can do with your favorite senior guy or gal:
- Let’s go for a sniff!… Walk schmalk! Instead, let your dog sniff around the neighborhood lets him catch up on the all the newest happenings: who peed where, who’s new in the neighborhood, who’s eating what, etc. Enjoy the peace and quiet while your pup’s nose is happily glued to the ground.
- Let’s go for a ride!… Where? Does it matter? Just opening the windows in your car and letting your dog enjoy the smells in the air is enough to keep any senior pup engaged and happy.
- Let’s eat!… But not in the typical boring stainless bowl fashion. Are you a kibble feeder? Spread the kibble out in the yard on a nice morning and let your dog forage for his food. (First make sure your yard is clean of waste or anything that might make your dog sick.)
- Let’s find it!… You might sense a theme here: working a dog’s nose means working the brain, too. A perfect rainy day activity might be playing some nosework in the house. Start by throwing a small piece of hot dog or chicken on the floor and tell your dog to “Find It!” Continue doing this until you’re confident he knows what the cue means. Then try placing the food near a table leg or bookshelf and say “Find It!” Let your dog search out the food, but try not to repeat the cue or help him in any way. If your dog is finding success, try hiding the food in more difficult spots or spots further and further away.
Feeding a great diet, regularly scheduling your dog’s senior wellness check-ups and, of course, savoring these moments of sweetness are best things you can do for your senior pup. Enjoy!