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Stretches for Senior Dogs

Dogs can be great lifelong companions. They do so much for us, even if it’s just keeping us company and giving us love and affection at the most random of times. While it may only seem like a few years for us though, the time they spend with us is practically their entire lifetime. Just like us, they get old too, but perhaps at a faster rate than we do. That’s why, when it gets to the point that they do become senior dogs, we also have to do our best to adjust the way we take care of them.

One way we can help keep our senior dogs healthy would be to get them the exercise they need. By doing so, we help them to stay as healthy as they can be. While we can do things like give them walks and run around with them, there are also other things we can do, and that would be to help them stretch. Before you rack your brain trying to wonder what kind of stretches dogs need to do, don’t worry. We’ve got a few simple ones that you can do to help your senior dog with that.

Shoulder Stretches

canine shoulder stretches for senior dog

Much like how we bear our weight on our two legs when we stand, dogs bear their weight on their four legs when they’re standing. That’s why it’s important to help stretch those legs of theirs to help keep them nice, loose, and help the blood flow in those muscles.

For shoulder stretches, you’ll want your dog to be standing. Then, grab your dog’s front leg and start moving it forward. What you’ll want is for your dog’s let to be pointed as forward as it can be. Be sure to do it slowly and pay attention to when there’s some tension on your dog’s leg as you’re moving it. This is where you’ll want to hold the position for about 15 to 30 seconds. After that, slowly put it down and then repeat it on the other leg. You can do this a total of two times per leg.

Hip Flexor Stretches

Hip flexor stretch for senior dog

This is just like your dog’s shoulder stretches, but this time for their hind legs. Much like the stretches for their shoulders, you’ll want your dog to be standing.

Grab one of your dog’s hind legs and then slowly pull it backward. Try to raise it as far back as possible, paying attention to any tension in the leg so that you don’t hurt your dog. You just want to stretch them, after all. Once you feel like it’s as far back as your dog can go, hold it again for 15 to 30 seconds, and then slowly put it down. Repeat on the other leg, doing it for a total of two times per leg. 

The Back Stretch

Back stretch for senior dog

For this one, you’ll need to have some treats on hand. What you’ll want to do is have your dog standing. You can position yourself to the side or behind them, for as long as your dog will be able to look behind them.

Get a treat and then let them turn to one side, following the treat as they go. What you’re trying to do is have them turn around and look behind them to the point that they’ll be forming a letter C shape. Once you have them as far back as they can turn, hold the position for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side, and then do this for each side for a total of two times. This will help stretch their spine and help maintain its mobility as well.

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