9 Ways To Help Your Dog Age Well

September 4th, 2014 by Calvin

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1) Walk Backwards

Kneel with your dog between you and a wall, put one hand under their belly to keep them from sitting (not to support their weight). With the other hand, use a treat to lure their nose to their chest and help them to move backwards (or put gentle pressure on their chest if that doesn’t get them to back up). Have them walk backwards a few feet, once or twice a day to help build hamstring strength.

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2) Warm or Cool Compress

If a joint or limb seems particularly painful, place the compress on the area for 5-10 minutes to help with pain relief.  For a warm compress, put rice in a sock and microwave until warm. For a cool compress, use a bag of frozen corn or peas (whatever you currently have in your freezer).

3) Side Steps

Stand perpendicular to your dog, place one hand on their collar (so they don’t go anywhere), place your knee/leg on their flank, and your hand on the other side to keep them pressed against you. Then slowly step into your dog to get them to shift their weight away from you and take a step. Make sure to repeat on the other side.

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4) Walk

Try to take your dog out for a walk at least once a day, even if it’s a really short one (either because of your busy schedule or your dog’s physical limitations).  Regular exercise helps keep bones and muscles healthy and every little bit counts (even if it’s just down the driveway and back!).

5) Sit to Stands

Ask your dog to sit. Be sure they’re sitting squarely so their back paws are facing forwards and they’re not lounging on one hip or the other. Ask them to stand on all 4s from the seated position. And repeat! Doggy squats!

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6) Diagonal Leg Lift

Gently lift the front leg and opposite back leg at the same time and hold for 3-5 seconds. Hold the wrist in front of the shoulder, and the ankle behind the hip so they can’t bear weight through you–they have to balance themselves. Repeat with the opposite two legs.

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7) Couch Walks

Take a cushion off your couch and have your dog walk across, or have them stand on it while they eat dinner. This is a core exercise and will help with balance.

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8) Trim Nails

Keep your dog’s toe nails and toe fur trimmed to help with slipping and difficulty on hard floors.  Throw rugs, yoga mats, and dog boots/socks with good grip can help also.

9) Range of Motion

Anytime your dog is relaxed, with open hands, gently guide your dog’s limbs into flexion and extension to keep the joints healthy.

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**If your dog is having any issues or pain when doing these exercises, please consult your veterinarian, or contact us at www.dog-swim.com (303) 762-SWIM.

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