Dog Health

5 Ways to Keep an Senior Dog Mentally Active

Senior Dog Mentally Active

Dog’s age in the same way that people do, but at a slightly faster rate. Depending on the breed of your dog, it can reach adulthood between 5 or 6 years.

Although you can’t stop your dog from growing up, there are some simple things you can do to help keep him mentally active and alert for as long as possible in his life. These are our 5 tips:

5 Ways to keep an senior dog mentally active

1. Feed him a healthy diet

The quality of your dog’s diet has a direct impact on his physical and mental health, so don’t skimp on the choice! Your dog’s diet should be high in protein, with moderate levels of fat and limited carbohydrates. Most protein and fat should come from animal sources such as meat, poultry, and fish, and should include a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

Forget as much as possible about giving him your food or your leftovers. Dogs love our food (it’s obviously more appealing and tastier than any dry food), but that doesn’t mean it’s good for them. If, in addition to its feed, you give it many homemade “whims”, it will end up overweight, which can lead to a sedentary dog ​​and health problems derived from said overweight.

2. Keep him physically active

Another effective way to keep your dog’s mental health in shape as he reaches old age is to keep him physically active. A long daily walk (minimum) will give your veteran four-legged friend not only the exercise he needs to stay healthy, but it will also keep his mind sharp as it’s an opportunity to explore the world, which is full of smells, sounds, mental challenges… and other dogs to play with.

3. Teach him some new tricks

You often hear the saying that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” but… it’s totally false! The truth is that keeping up with your dog’s training throughout his life will help not only stimulate him and keep him entertained but will help foster and strengthen his mental acuity.

Some easy ways to teach your dog new tricks involve playing together, using interactive toys, or teaching him to do new tricks (it’s not all about sitting and pawing). For example, you can try to play hide and seek with him around the house. Or do something as simple as associate each of his toys with a name. So that when you mention it he will go for it and bring it to you because he will know that you are going to play with him and that toy. They are simple guidelines, which do not require a great effort on your part either, but together they will do a great job in developing his intelligence and mental acuity.

4. Make sure he has lots of toys

Playing with toys is more than just alleviating a dog’s boredom: it can also provide a bit of that much-needed mental stimulation for a happy, well-adjusted animal. When choosing toys for an older dog it is best to make a wide selection which then allows him to choose the toys he likes best.

Of course, among its toys, always try to bet on those that pose a mental challenge for your pet, such as to treat dispensers that require various actions, in addition to traditional chew toys, which both large and small dogs like.

5. Train him in dog sports

As your dog ages, he may become less active. This is why it’s so important to try to keep his physical and mental health at the best level. One way to keep your dog’s mind sharp is to also train him to do dog sports like bikejoring. Although of course, it is also possible that at a certain age our pet is not in optimal shape to practice agility or very demanding sports. But we can always bet on obedience exercises or the like to keep him fit and active within his possibilities.

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