The Myth of excercising your older dog
by Traceylynn Hommel
(Middlebury, VT U.S.)
Stella watching over Mom
I took my Mom's dog to the vet for a routine check up. Her name is Stella, and she will be twelve years old in February (2012). She is a medium size dog and mixed but we see a lot of Akita in her.
I let the vet know that Stella will walk with me very well in the beginning, and that is just about a yard or so, then she starts to slow down and it seems like I am pulling her instead of her going gung ho ahead of me.
I know that she limps a little when she walks - actually her hips sachet back and forth and it looks kinda cute, and that is because her hips bother her now, but I was always told to keep them moving and walking or running to get the kink out.
My vet told me that any pet will want to be with you at any time so they will try and keep up with you or they will walk or run as you ask them, but they are actually in a lot of pain and will not let you know that for fear of having to give up their time with you.
My vet mentioned that when you see your older pet slowing down while walking or running, do not try to get them to keep up with you or exercise them more, they are trying to tell you that they are hurting at that point but still want to be with you.
My vet let me know to bring Stella to a stopping point and get back to a resting area when I see her slowing down. It will her her pain and condition more by not putting her through strenuous activity, at her age, it is just the way it is.
To me, that made a lot of common sense, and you would not have to revert to medications, which can be worse for them. Just stop the pain with relaxation.
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