I was thinking today, while playing ball with the dogs, that I wanted to blog about keeping my senior dog fit.
My dog LiLo will be 10-years-old this month. While I don't consider her really 'old' yet, she is considered a senior dog.
With LiLo, I include her in all of the activities that I do with my other dogs. She plays ball, she chases the flirt pole, and she runs on the slat mill. She also has tagged along on several 4-5 mile bike rides and she keeps the pace along with the boys.
My other dog, Sophie, lived to be 14 years old. While she was never overweight, I did not do a good job of keeping her fit. The last few years of her life I tried to take her biking and it was too much for her. I really didn't have a 'plan' back then and I want to do things completely different with LiLo.
LiLo has hip dysplasia - I've mentioned it in previous posts. Because her hips are crappy it is even more important that she stays fit and in shape. I have her on adequan once a month and she gets flaxseed oil and fish oil daily. I keep her slightly underweight and I give her NSAIDs when she over-does it on the exercise. I do make some small exceptions for LiLo when exercising. I do not throw the ball for her until she is so tired she doesn't bring it back. I do not play flirt pole until she is dead tired. I do not make her run on the slat mill for too long either. I do allow her to get moderately tired when we play, but I try to gauge how she is feeling because I do not want her to be overly sore later.
I plan to keep playing ball and doing active things with LiLo until she tells me she can't or she doesn't want to anymore.
I think it's really important to keep your dog active into old age, as long as they are physically able to be. Much like human people, I think it makes for a better life for them. As LiLo ages, she may start to slow down and I will alter the things that we do to accommodate that. However, for now at this time, she seems to be keeping up with everything I ask her to do.
Here are some pictures I took of her yesterday:
I think she looks really good for her age :D