As dogs get older, they may start to experience joint pain or arthritis, just like us humans. Exercise is important for both mental and physical health- but aging pets are not always able to perform the same exercises as their younger counterparts. Swimming can be an excellent form of exercise but is it suitable for senior dogs?
Swimming can offer a great way for elderly pets to stay active without placing strain on their already delicate frames. Here we will look at some of the benefits swimming might provide as well as some things that should be considered before getting started.
Benefits of Swimming for Senior Dogs
It’s Good for Their Joints
Swimming is a low-impact exercise that can help to reduce the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. The buoyancy of the water supports their body weight, reducing the amount of pressure on their joints.
It Can Help With Weight Loss
Swimming can be an effective way for senior dogs to lose weight without putting too much strain on their bodies. It is also a great way to build muscle mass and improve overall cardiovascular health.
It Can Improve Mental Health
Swimming can help to reduce stress and anxiety in senior dogs, as well as providing a fun way to stay active. It can also help to keep their minds sharp by providing mental stimulation.
Things to Consider Before Starting Swimming
Check With Your Vet First
Before starting any new exercise routine, it is important to check with your vet to make sure that your senior dog is healthy enough for swimming.
When starting out, it is best to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity of the exercise over time. This will help to ensure that your senior dog does not become over-exerted or injured.
What if my dog isn’t a natural-born swimmer?
If your dog isn’t a natural-born swimmer, don’t worry! Swimming can still be beneficial for them. Swimming classes or private lessons are a great way to help them become more comfortable in the water. Start by introducing them to the water in shallow areas and gradually increase the depth as they become more comfortable. You may also want to consider investing in a life jacket or floatation device to help keep them safe while they learn.
Interested in Aquatic Therapy for your Dog?
Swimming can be an excellent form of exercise for senior dogs, providing a low-impact way to stay active and healthy.
As the benefits of aquatic therapy for dogs continue to increase, we are pleased to be the only facility in the Tri-State to offer a full range of aqua therapy services to benefit our canine friends. Learn more about our canine aquatic therapy services and contact us today to get started!