Maintaining a Beagle's exercise routine up to his senior years is crucial to keep him as healthy and happy as possible. These hunting dogs belong to a very energetic breed and won't think twice about getting in on a daily exercise routine in a snap of a finger.
But the thing is your much older Beagle may be in for some problems affecting his overall health and well-being sooner or later if you're not properly taking charge of his exercise needs. These can be in the form of mental stimulation, physical exercise, play sessions, interactive games as well as training sessions.
If you're not providing your aging Beagle as much exercise as he needs or none at all, it's highly like that he will be prone to health issues before you know it. We've put together this blog post to walk you through everything you need to know about the senior Beagle exercise and how it should be done.
Besides giving you simple and practical pointers on how to give your aging pooch a proper workout routine, we will also cover related topics like how much exercise he needs as well as a few tricks we've picked up along the way as pet homeopathy professionals.
Without further ado, let's kick things off by having a quick overview of why a beyond adult Beagle needs proper exercise on a regular basis...
Why Regular Exercise is Important for Beyond Adult Beagles
Did you know that Beagles are originally bred to hunt small game?
These include doves, woodchucks, squirrels, groundhogs, hares, rabbits, and gophers, among others. This breed is also known for its high drive when it comes to chasing prey and is deemed as excellent scent hound.
While this active breed has become more of a domestic canine companion than a hunting partner these days, its energy levels and love for exercise carried on just the same. Regardless of age, Beagles love to be engaged in some form of workout.
And if your much older Beagle's exercise needs are not satisfied daily, it's highly likely that he won't stay as healthy as he should. Besides being unable to keep physically fit, this lack of exercise daily will also have a negative impact on your aging dog's mental well-being.
We'd just like to emphasize that a well-exercised Beagle—especially among the much older members of the breed—is going to be a happy and healthy dog. However, it's crucial to keep in mind that the whole thing requires a significant amount of commitment.
Now we've got that covered, let's discuss a very big misconception about exercise for beyond adult Beagles that a lot of dog parents mistakenly believe...
"Exercise" for Senior Beagles is Not Just About Physical Activity
Contrary to what many dog moms and dads think, the phrase "Beagle exercise" does not just involve physical activity. It also means that your golden-aged pooch should be mentally stimulated in the process.
While it is true that exercise helps aging Beagles maintain ideal muscle mass, joint flexibility, and overall mobility, putting up (and faithfully sticking to) a daily exercise routine also helps curb behavioral issues in much older dogs by properly dealing with pent-up energy.
Lack of exercise can mean the development of destructive behavior and similar problems
It is important to remember that it's not just your pet's physical shape that's at risk when you don't exercise a Beagle in his senior years. A much older Beagle needs low-impact exercise for at least an hour daily to help keep destructive behavior at bay.
Interestingly, you can use puzzle toys, scent games, and even a game or two of hide and seek to pull this off! We will explain this more in detail as we go along, including how much exercise you should give your aging Beagle.
Just to reiterate, healthy adult Beagles in their senior years won't just enjoy physical benefits when they get the right amount of exercise every day. The mental stimulation they receive will also help keep problems like unexpected aggression, excessive barking, unnecessary digging, and similar issues in check.
The Possible Risks of Not Giving Senior Beagles Enough Exercise
Having proper and regular exercise is an essential part of a Beagle's life regardless of age. If you're anything like most dog parents, chances are you have the notion that a regular workout routine is only for a Beagle puppy, a juvenile, or an adult Beagle.
But the thing is it important for aging Beagles, too. This applies to other dogs belonging to other breeds that are in their golden years. Overlooking regular exercise in your canine companion's daily routine can lead to the following health issues:
Unwanted weight gain
When you avoid exercising your senior Beagle on a regular basis, his susceptibility to unwanted weight gain increases. Just to emphasize, overweight Beagles are highly prone to obesity, which can also set off a number of potentially serious health problems like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and similar wellness issues.
Most Beagles tend to be between fifteen (15) and twenty (20) kilos when it comes to weight. However, your senior Beagle could also weigh a kilo or more than this range depending on genetics and other relevant factors.
This is one of the biggest reasons why having a regular checkup and consultation with a pet wellness expert or a vet is a must to appropriately monitor the weight of your Beagle, especially when he is already a senior canine citizen.
Joint and bone deterioration
Apart from giving your older Beagle lots of great fun, regular exercise also helps maintain the strength and integrity of his joints and bones. Having a consistent workout for aging Beagles keeps health issues like bone brittleness, arthritis, and fractures, as well as the possible occurrence of hypertrophic osteopathy and panosteitis.
However, excessive exercise can potentially trigger or even aggravate existing joint and bone health problems. We'd just like to reiterate the importance of knowing how much exercise to give your senior Beagle. This is because over-exercise is already going to be counterproductive for your dog.
Muscle weakness and atrophy
Giving your dog a consistent aging Beagle exercise routine helps maintain the hardiness and flexibility of his muscles. The lack or absence of the same can eventually result in not just muscle weakness, but also atrophy in older dogs in severe cases.
One of the most straightforward ways to check if your pet is suffering from muscle issues is by observing your senior Beagle run or walk at a brisk pace. If he moves in a rather tense manner all the time or can't seem to stretch some muscles in the process, it is possible that he's having problems with his muscles.
Restlessness and anxiety
As we pointed out earlier, giving your older Beagle proper and regular exercise helps get rid of pent-up energy. Not releasing the same can make your dog prone to behavioral problems and mental wellness issues in the long run.
The most common concern among senior Beagles that don't get regular mental stimulation is the surfacing of restlessness and anxiety—and these could even result in destructive behavior and unwanted aggression to humans and other animals if not nipped in the bud.
If your aging dog suddenly develops the habit of knocking down and tearing up things like throw pillows and pieces of furniture, among others, a common reason is that he is not getting the right amount of exercise he needs.
Increased susceptibility to health problems
When you make it a point to exercise a Beagle in his golden years, you are not just helping boost his fitness level and energy level. You are also strengthening his overall immune system health in the process.
Always keep in mind that an older dog with a poor immune system is not just going to be an easy target for disease and illness but will also have a much more difficult time staying healthy and happy. This also applies to Beagle puppies and juveniles.
How Much Exercise Do Older Beagles Need?
When determining the ideal amount of exercise to give senior Beagles, it is important to take note of three (3) key factors, particularly your dog's energy level, willingness to get in on the action as well as the presence of underlying health conditions.
Neglecting to consider these factors can easily break your exercise routine for aging Beagles no matter how well-planned it is. Additionally, your dog won't maximize the benefits of his workouts in the process.
Giving your dog at least an hour of exercise daily is a nice target. However, you can gradually increase or decrease the time if you notice that he's getting tired too soon or still raring to go after.
A Beagle puppy has higher stamina and energy levels
It is crucial to keep in mind that a senior dog won't have the same endurance and vigor compared to his younger counterparts. This is the biggest reason why a golden-aged Beagle should only be subjected to low-impact exercise routines that won't expose his body to excessive bouts of physical distress and exhaustion.
Can older dogs use workout routines for Beagle puppies?
No, aging Beagles should not be subjected to activities that are only suitable for puppies or juveniles of the breed. Doing so will only make them highly at risk of injury and other related wellness problems. Toning down the intensity of games (like tug of war and hide and seek) is a must when you're engaging senior Beagles.
Top Exercise Routines for Older Beagles You Should Know
Providing your aging dog with his daily exercise needs isn't as complicated as you think. Make sure you include the following no-fuss pointers in your senior Beagle care checklist and you're going to be on the right track:
#1. Consult a pet health expert.
Before you actually get in action with your aging Beagle, make sure you reach out to a vet or pet homeopathy expert first. Apart from giving you a heads up on any underlying condition you should know of, a vet or pet wellness pro can also help you come up with an exercise routine that really works for your older dog.
#2. A healthy and balanced diet is a must.
A proper and regular workout routine for aging Beagles should be harmonized with an ideal diet. You can start by going for a low-calorie, high-protein food plan that also includes fruits and vegetables in the mix. (Here's a comprehensive guide on what a dog can and cannot eat to make things easier for you.)
#3. Don't forget to have a warm-up session first.
Aging Beagles need to warm up before they can really take things up a notch during exercise. This significantly curbs the possibility of injury and similar untoward incidents. A bit of off-leash activity like tug of war or fetch for a few minutes will help his body adjust to more strenuous activities.
#4. Go for low-impact workouts.
"Low impact" basically means a toned down version of an activity your senior Beagle used to engage in when he was younger. It can also refer to activities like swimming, brisk walking, and simple indoor obstacle courses. Letting your older Beagle roam the dog park off-leash (if it's safe andpermitted) by himself is already a form of low-impact exercise.
#5. Include mental stimulation in your exercise routine.
As we've pointed out previously, golden-aged Beagles need to have their mind stimulated along with physical exercise. You can get your hands on dog puzzle toys like the ones that have a treat inside them or those that will encourage him to use his smarts to achieve a specific goal.
#6. Have regular breaks.
A senior Beagle will need a lot of time to recharge, especially when engaged in an activity that really gives his body a workout. Remember to have at least ten (10) minutes of rest for your older dog after about twenty (20) or thirty (30) minutes of continuous activity.
#7. Hydration is essential.
Aging Beagles need to stay hydrated before, during, and after engaging in exercise. Make sure you always have a portable water bowl and fresh water with you when you work out with your senior Beagle. This prevents dehydration and even heatstroke in certain circumstances.
#8. Reward your pet with a few treats and snacks as you go along.
One way to really encourage your older Beagle to participate in your exercise routine is to have a few treats with you when you do so. Just remember not to overdo it since he might be too full to completely focus on the activity you're doing.
HOMEOPATH & CO-FOUNDER OF ZUMALKA
Suzie Cyrenne has dedicated more than 20 years of her life in making and improving natural animal health solutions in the global setting.
Being the co-founder of Zumalka, Suzie is a forerunner in enhancing the lives of pets through natural and homeopathic options using the knowledge she has gained from the Classical Homeopathy School in Quebec.
Besides immersing herself in books, personal development and visiting new places, Suzie also enjoys keeping herself in tiptop shape by snowboarding and taking daily hikes with her husband and Zumalka co-founder, Matt Lessard, and their Golden-Doodle, Westin.