Senior Boston Terriers: Best Practices for Exercise

Suzie Cyrenne
Authored by Suzie Cyrenne
Suzie is a Certified Homeopath and Co-Founder of Zumalka
, specializing in natural and holistic remedies for pets.

Exercising your Boston Terrier is still a must even if he's already in his golden years. Besides being a fantastic way to provide physical and mental stimulation, engaging your senior Boston Terrier in regular exercise also helps curb health issues that may have severe consequences sooner or later.

And just to emphasize, the lack of exercise can also have a significant effect on the Boston Terrier lifespan. Make sure you follow along to get in on everything you need to know on how to keep your older dog mentally and physically healthy through an appropriate exercise routine.


A Boston Terrier is an Energy Powerhouse

Senior Boston Terrier walking with its owner

Compared to certain breeds, Boston Terriers are known to be very playful dogs due to their high energy levels and drive. They perform well in agility training activities even at an early age and also know their way around puzzle toys thanks to their intelligence and enthusiasm.

A Boston Terrier's physical structure is ideal for weaves, jumps and tunnels, which you normally find in an agility course. And like many dogs of small and medium sizes, this breed also requires a lot of mental stimulation, which can potentially lead to anxiety and destructive behavior if neglected.

This just goes to show that having regular exercise is crucial when it comes to a Boston Terrier's well-being. They are more active in contrast to other dogs and will require enough exercise each day to stay in tiptop shape.

This requirement also applies to older Boston Terriers or else they'll be highly vulnerable to health issues like heart problems before you know it.


How Much Exercise Does a Boston Terrier Need?

Senior Boston Terrier standing

Before we go over how much exercise senior Boston Terriers need, it's important to take note that the daily amount of physical and mental stimulation a dog requires changes as he grows older. While Boston Terrier puppies can easily negotiate a couple of hours of intense activity, this can already be too demanding for senior dogs.

It is your responsibility as a dog owner to determine how much exercise to engage in depending on your Boston Terrier's age and overall health. Compared to their younger counterparts, older dogs only need at least thirty (30) minutes to an hour of moderate exercise per day.

There's a simple trick you use in case you're not quite sure how many minutes of exercise per day your Boston Terrier requires. Engage your four-legged friend in a low-impact game (you can play fetch in the dog park to do this) and observe how long it takes for him to get visibly tired.

Once you've got an estimate of the same, you can use this to properly set daily activities that provide mental stimulation and healthy physical exertion to keep your dog happy.

Moreover, it's also crucial to keep in mind that too much exercise for older adult Boston Terriers can already lead to joint injury and other unwanted issues.


Senior Boston Terrier Exercise Recommendations You Need to Have in Your Checklist

Owner hugs his Senior Boston Terrier

While Boston Terriers in their senior years still require daily exercise, you'll need to tone down the intensity and the choice of activities to avoid over-exercising your four-legged friend. Here are a few simple and practical tips that will help you provide your Boston Terrier's exercise needs in a safe and supervised manner:


Get interactive!

So what type of exercise do Boston Terriers like? Contrary to popular belief, the term "exercise" is not just about engaging your Boston Terrier physically. It also covers mental stimulation. And using interactive toys to capture your senior dog's interest is one straightforward way to pull this off.

These include puzzle toys that have rotating or sliding parts, as well as treat balls that can be used to hide snacks in. You can even go for self-launching fetch toys and puzzle dispensers that hand out treats when your Boston Terrier arranges certain shapes correctly.


Prep your home for indoor games.

Senior Boston Terrier looking outside the window

Regardless of age, Boston terriers are small dogs that don't require a lot of space for their exercise needs. So long as you keep his muscles mobile and mind stimulated, your older dog won't have a problem even if the action takes place right inside your home. Below are some indoor game ideas that you and your Boston Terrier can get in on:


Find the toy

Show your Boston Terrier that you've got one of his toys and "hide" it behind a pillow on the couch, under the table or somewhere he can easily access. Reward your dog with a treat as soon as he locates the toy.

I highly recommend choosing a squeaky toy or one that emits any kind of sound for this game so your canine companion can have a cue where to start looking.


Tug of war

Boston Terriers typically have a lot of drive. You'll be surprised how much energy even a senior one has. For this game, choose a material that's both stretchy and durable, but not too hard. A piece of cotton rope or a tug toy will do the job. Make sure it isn't too big that it will already give your dog trouble breathing.

Initiate the tug of war by placing the rope or toy near your Boston Terrier's mouth and encourage him to bite on it. Once he does, give the rope or toy a few soft tugs. Repeating this process for at least ten (10) minutes already constitutes great exercise for your pet's heart and muscles.


Scavenger hunt for treats

Whether you've got a Boston Terrier puppy or a senior dog, integrating his favorite snacks and treats in your exercise routine is definitely a good motivator. Use this to your advantage by organizing a scavenger hunt in your home. Only choose treats and snacks that are already in your Boston Terrier's diet for this game.

Similar to "find the toy," you can pull this off by stowing away treats under your Boston terrier's blanket, next to his bed or other items that your dog can easily reach. Don't forget to congratulate your canine friend (not to mention giving him a belly rub) when he finds the hidden tasty treasures.


Indoor agility training

No matter how old your Boston Terrier may be, he'll always be up for activities that showcase his dexterity and nimbleness. Setting up an indoor agility course is one fun way to give your senior dog exercise.

Choose a spacious area that your four-legged companion can freely run and jump like the living room or garage. You can use household items like plastic cups and dog toys as "obstacles" for him to clear. Remember not to make the course too easy or too difficult to really make it a fun Boston Terrier exercise for your older dog.


Go for a low-impact exercise routine.

While older Boston Terriers need regular exercise, it should not be too intense that it will already wreak havoc on his hip joints and possibly even cause injury. A game of fetch at the dog park or a brisk walk around the neighborhood will already suffice.

Senior Boston Terriers only need around 15 to 30 minutes of exercise per day to maintain a healthy weight and keep clear from health issues like heart problems. If your Boston Terrier's workouts are significantly longer than this, then it's time to give him less exercise.


Engage your older furry friend in age-appropriate dog sports.

As I've pointed out earlier, make sure you take note of how much exercise your Boston Terrier should be engaged in to keep injury at bay. While constant movement is perhaps the most straightforward way to give your aging Boston Terrier exercise, the general rule is overdoing the whole thing is already counterproductive.

So how much exercise do Boston Terriers really need? There is no universal answer to this one. The whole thing depends on your dog's age, overall health and other key factors like underlying conditions.


Potential Health Issues in Senior Boston Terriers

Senior Boston Terrier sitting in the car

Your aging Boston Terrier is vulnerable to a number of health issues if he isn't getting the right amount of exercise. Below are some of the most common problems that can affect your dog's health if he has a generally sedentary lifestyle:



Boston Terriers, particularly the senior ones, need a regular workout because they'll be prone to obesity in the long run if they stay idle most of the time. Once your older dog has weight management issues, chances are he'll be at risk of all the health problems that I've included in this list.


Brachycephalic syndrome

While this issue is more genetic in nature, the lack of exercise can potentially aggravate your Boston Terrier's risk of having respiratory problems in the long run. A Boston Terrier puppy exposed to regular exercise when still quite young has a better chance of keeping clear from respiratory difficulties when he gets older.


Joint problems

Boston Terriers tends to develop arthritis when he isn't moving like he should. This is quite common in households where the only exercise they get is going on car rides. In any case, having a regular workout is essential in keeping a healthy Boston Terrier.


Heart disease

When it comes to health problems an aging Boston Terrier is vulnerable to, cardiovascular disease is always going to be on the list. These dogs are often at risk of congestive heart failure and mitral valve disease, especially those that only get little to no exercise at all.


Hip dysplasia

Although hip dysplasia is not directly linked with the lack of exercise in aging Boston Terriers, it is one of the most common health issues this breed is prone to. Regular workouts help prevent premature joint degeneration and instability.


Cancer in dogs

An aging Boston Terrier is highly vulnerable to cancer, particularly among those that have a mostly sedentary lifestyle. To make you more aware of this very serious disease, here are the 7 symptoms of cancer in senior dogs you should never ignore.


Tips on Exercising an Older Boston Terrier

Two Senior Boston Terriers on leash

Aging Boston Terriers need certain factors to make their workouts really successful. Here's a quick checklist of the things to keep in mind with regard to giving the right Boston Terrier exercise for senior dogs:


Daily exercise is a must.

A Boston Terrier has to have a daily workout regimen. However, as I've pointed out earlier, it must be age-appropriate or else you will put your dog at risk of injury or some other detrimental effect to his body. Remember the maxim "slowly but surely" when exercising your senior dog.


Avoid overdoing the whole thing.

Before you engage your aging dog in an activity, make sure you reflect how much exercise do Boston Terriers need if they're already in their senior years. Moderation is key or else the whole thing can lead to disaster.


Diet plays an essential role.

The things a Boston Terrier eats can significantly affect his overall health. This is very true especially among older canine companions. If you're looking to really maximize the benefits of exercising your golden-aged Boston Terrier, keeping a close eye on what your dog can and cannot eat is essential.


Focus on quality over quantity.

Always keep in mind that it's not about how long you give your older canine pal a workout. It's primarily about adapting a particular exercise regimen to properly suit his body's needs and capabilities. A Boston Terrier doesn't need intense workouts. He needs exercise that does his body good.


A Final Word

Unlike what a lot of people mistakenly think, it's not that tricky to exercise an aging Boston Terrier. Remembering the guidelines I've emphasized in this blog post won't just help you keep your fur baby in good shape even in his senior years, but also curb potential wellness issues before you know it.

And when it comes to dealing with diseases and illnesses using natural means, reaching out to pet homeopath professional is definitely a smart move. Contact us at any time to get in touch with one immediately.


About the author

Suzie Cyrenne
Suzie Cyrenne


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.

Through the guidance of her mother-in-law and fellow natural health expert, Denyse Lessard, Suzie constantly devotes herself to create premium pet products that are aimed at dealing with the root causes of wellness problems and not just their symptoms.

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.

Find out more about Suzie when you click HERE.

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