Fitness for seniors and their dogs.

Seniors benefit from dog companionship. But winter inactivity brings de-conditioning. Help seniors and their dogs get healthy with physical and mental exercise.

“My goal in life is to be as good a person 

as my dog thinks I am.”

Author Unknown

Seniors and dogs

Dogs add so much to our lives: companionship, unconditional love, and humor. Studies show that seniors who own pets have decreased depression, loneliness, lower pulse rate, decreased heart attacks, and are generally more active.

But seniors are especially prone to de-conditioning during the winter. It’s harder for them to grab a leash and head outside.

If you know a senior who has a dog, help add fitness and fun to both their lives. You'll benefit from the visit too.

Also, if you suspect you or your older adult have more than the winter doldrums, read our article, Is it winter blues or something else?

Here's a list of indoor and outdoor activities:

  • Offer to walk a struggling senior’s dog or hire a dog walker.
  • Take the dog to the dog park (either indoor or out).
  • See if the dog will chase a laser light (healthy treats might help).
  • Play hide and seek with healthy treats. Place them behind doors, on top of chairs, and under the edge of rugs. Get pup to go find the treats.
  • Run through the dog’s repertoire of tricks: roll over (and over and over), shake, play dead, jump, etc.
  • Create obstacle courses indoors and out. Get the dog to jump up, jump down, walk across a row of chairs, crawl through a tube, etc.
  • Play fetch or purchase an automatic ball launcher.
  • Consider a pooch treadmill.

Seniors, pets, and senior living facilities:

Senior living communities recognize the health benefits of pet ownership. Most facilities these days are “Pet Friendly” and welcome a resident’s fur baby. 

Keep these things in mind when moving to a senior community with a pet:

  • There may be size and weight restrictions.
  • Communities require proof of current vaccinations.
  • A photo of the pet is needed for records.
  • The lease contract will stipulate that the community can ask a pet to leave.
  • A pet eviction notice is based on unsafe/unfriendly behavior, loud or constant barking, and inability of senior to care for pet.
  • Some Assisted Living communities offer pet care in their menu of services - most do not.
  • The assisted living will ask for your Advance Directives and your pet care decisions. See our article, Advance Health and Pet Decisions

No more waiting

Your dog spends its life waiting for you. Waiting for you to come home. Waiting for you to get off the couch. Waiting for you to play.

Quit making your dog wait. And don’t let April showers dampen your relationship with your four-legged best friend. Take time to play and enjoy fitness activities together – it’s good for you both


Looking for senior living for yourself or a loved one? See what others say about working with me.

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