Pet parents often ask what to give pets for bone health care, but the right question to ask is what you can do. The answer is simple – EXERCISE. No matter how young or how old your furbaby is – exercise is a must. It is through exercise that pet parents help their senior pets stay healthy.

Choose exercises based on your furbaby’s age, lifestyle and physical condition and breed; and only then will you be able to choose the right type, amount and intensity.

Don’t wait for your furbaby’s bones to weaken, take action now by allowing him or her to engage in regular and consistent exercises. If you don’t know where to start, we’ve got you covered. Simply take note of the following exercises below for pet bone health care:

 

Passive range-of-motion exercises (PROM)

Senior pets are not as quick as they once were, but did you know that exercise can help delay this? Start by adding PROM exercises to your pet bone health guide! This type of exercises benefits both health and incapacitated pets.

Begin by ensuring that your furbaby is lying comfortably on her side, and gently flex and extend her limbs one at a time. Hold each stretch for 10 seconds each and make sure that you don’t hyperextend the wrists or ankles.

  1. PROM exercises include:
  • Forelimb flexion
  • Shoulder and elbow extension
  • Shoulder flexion + elbow extension
  • Shoulder abduction
  • Hind limb flexion
  • Hip flexion + stifle extension
  • Hip and stifle extension
  • Hip abduction

Balance and Proprioception (spatial orientation and movement) Exercises

There are 3 options to improve balance and flexibility even at an old age.

  1. Try ‘treat reaches’

Dogs absolutely and surely love food. Keep your dog in a standing position and place the ‘treat’ where you’d like him to extend his paw without having to take any steps, then change the angles to face different directions.

Treat reach exercises:

  • Spinal extension
  • Spinal dorsiflexion
  • Lateral spinal flexion
  • Lateral spinal flexion with rotation

 

  1. Go for a walk

Regular walks with your furbaby should be engraved on your daily to-do list. Depending on the need of your furbaby, go at a distance he’s capable of and walk around an area he’s comfortable with.

PetSafe EasySport Harness

Source: @caesartherescue

Get a good collar or a harness (purchase based on his physical needs) and a retractable leash. Your senior furbaby will most likely wander, but a lot compared to a young puppy, but still be his curious self!

 

  1. Take high steps

High-stepping is also a workout for dogs. It involves having your furbaby raise its legs at a certain level. It can be as basic as going over different leveled objects at home, but if you want more of a challenge, you can set up cavaletti poles and adjust the height as needed by your furbaby.

 

  1. Swimming

Swimming is a great activity your furbaby can engage in if he has no physical limitations. It can even be therapy for dogs with certain injuries. It helps your furbaby exercise the muscles without hurting the joints.

Outward Hound Life Jacket

Source: @jesuissassy

This Outward Hound life jacket is available at Bow and Wow, the only organic and all-naturalpet shop in Manila and Cebu! It doesn’t have to an intense swim, keep a close eye on him and provide him with life jacket to help him stay afloat and wade through the pool. This type ofworkout for dogs is something every pet parent must prepare for!

Targeted Strengthening Exercises

Believe it or not, some pets just don’t like to move, while some are never encouraged to do so. No matter how old your pet is, it’s never to late to squeeze in (even just a few) exercises every once in a while. Work those big muscle groups that help with standing, walking and running. It’s always beneficial to squeeze in even a few minutes and give the much-needed attention to your pet’s bone health care!

  1. Slowly do side steps

Taking side-steps require training your furbaby. Start by facing his side, then hold his collar and the opposite hip. Slowly step into your furbaby’s space so that he knows to move but ensure that he moves sideways and not forward. This is best done gradually, from 3 to 5 steps to 10 to 15 steps.

 

  1. Walking

Going on regular walks every single day becomes boring if you don’t challenge your furbaby. Choose an area where you can walk on an incline or a place where there are stairs to strengthen those large-muscles. His stamina is not the same as it once was, so don’t expect your furbaby to last for as long as he does on a regular walk.

If you want to take it up a notch and make the walk more exciting, bring a few toys like bones for puppies or adults and some treats to give as an incentive to your furbaby.

 

With the help of your veterinarian, you can determine the physical capability and limitations of your dog. Since he’s a senior furbaby, always keep an eye out to make sure he’s doing alright, most especially when he’s performing a new exercise.

Constantly doing activities for pet bone and muscle health care for your dog can go a long way in keeping his strength, speed, stamina and overall health. He’ll be a healthier and happier furbaby and has you to thank you for all of it!

 

Sources:

https://www.petmd.com/

https://www.adoptapet.com/

https://healthypets.mercola.com/