Keeping Your Old Dog Young
How do you keep an aging dog feeling young? As our canine companions age they begin to slow down. Suddenly your usual couple mile walks or morning runs aren’t so easy on older joints. Senior dogs also don’t handle extreme temperatures as well so they usually get to be outside romping around a little less.
Of course, there’s a lot to love about aging pets as well. They’ve usually mastered house training. They are experts at reading your moods and being exactly what you need them to be. Old dogs are happy to Netflix binge after a long day, or even just a whole weekend day when you’ve done nothing all day… they don’t judge.
Your old dog is your best friend. And you want to do everything you can to keep them feeling good as long as you can. Below you’ll find some of my favorite tricks and tips to keeping a spring in their step and their minds sharp even as they age. Plus, each activity continues to build on the incredible relationship you share with your old dog.
Make Feeding Time Fun
▪ Take a Muffin Tin (extra tiny dogs can use mini muffin tins with golf balls and ping pong balls)
▪ Add treats or kibble to the each slot
▪ Cover with a ball (tennis balls work well, but try different options)
▪ Let your dog figure out how to get to the food!
The Muffin Pan Game is perfect for keeping your senior dog engaged in dinner time! It works anywhere and helps teach your dog problem solving skills which keeps their mind young.
Don’t be afraid to get creative! Put peanut butter in one, kibble in another, a bit of hot dog, or a favorite treat.
Tip: If your dog flips the tin every time, try screwing the tin onto a piece of wood to add weight.
Looking for a perfect indoor activity for your senior dog? Try Hide & Seek!
This game lets your dog use his best sense (his nose!) to find yummy treats. Plus, this is the start of a fun K-9 sport called Nose Work which can be done by dogs of ANY age or breed!
▪ Find a couple of cardboard boxes (3-6 boxes… make use of that Prime shopping!)
▪ Mark one as “FOOD”
▪ Hide a tasty treat in the “FOOD” box
▪ Put all the boxes randomly on the floor
▪ Let your dog use his nose to find the treat!
Let’s Get Cooking!
Did you know you could bake treats right at home for your furry friends? This lets you know exactly what ingredients she’s eating—giving her a health boost, and you some peace of mind. These biscuits are easy on the tummy, and make your whole house smell great!
Recipe for Apple-Cheddar Dog Biscuits
▪ 2 cups barley flour
▪ 1/2 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
▪ 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
▪ 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
▪ 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
▪ 2 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a nonstick baking mat or parchment paper; set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients and about 3 tablespoons water to form a dough. Roll out mixture between two sheets of plastic wrap to 1/4-inch thick; remove plastic wrap and cut out biscuits with a 3 1/2-inch bone-shaped cookie cutter. Reroll scraps and continue cutting out biscuits.
Space biscuits 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes until nicely browned and firm.
Transfer biscuits to a wire rack. Turn off oven and place biscuits on wire rack in oven overnight. Remove from oven and store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Recipe from Martha Stewart
Please make sure you check with your veterinarian about appropriate dietary needs for your pet before feeding this or any other recipe.
Looking for a Way to Remember Your Dog Forever?
If our senior dogs have a downside, it’s that our time is limited. Let me design a custom photo shoot just for you. I’ll capture your pet and create beautiful art work for you to have for years to come.