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Hello there folks. How is everyone? I hope you are all doing good.

A little info about my two dogs:

Golden Retriever, approximately 13 years old, in average/fair physical condition. Not overweight or underweight.

Miniature Pinscher, approximately 12 years old, in average/fair physical condition. Not obese but I would say a little bit overweight.

I am very sad to say this & very ashamed but I have not taken my dogs on walks recently. Nor have they been walked habitually throughout their lifetime. My Golden Retriever tires out after about two blocks & his legs literally just give out sometimes when he walks. As in he will fall to the ground out of nowhere. The min pin doesn't tire out as easily. She can walk approximately for 20 minutes or so without tiring out.

I need to man up & start taking care of my two family dogs. I live with my parents. How many times per week should I start taking them on walks & for how long? Should I take a water bottle & a dish along with me incase they get thirsty?

Any tips/advice or suggestions on how to improve their physical fitness would be very much appreciated. Thank you very much for reading my thread. I hope everyone has a great day. Take care folks.
 

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It will take take time to build up muscles to support their body holding up their frame off their joints. Have they been to the vet for a senior health check? Heart, lungs, blood work see how their organs are doing. general health would be important to know. especially if they have a chronic condition you are unaware of, and how well will they recover from starting to put stress on their body. Elderly dogs can do exceptionally well regaining strength and endurance taking it slow (half a block and back) every other day or two days for recovery and slowly week by week going a little further. Playing some catch and bring back ball games in a back yard on their days off.. take it easy on chasing the ball where put alot of structure pounding into the ground to get the ball. Mental stimulas is excellent for seniors.. some ob runs, grooming sessions, time just spent with them.
 

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If you're specifically looking to do it to build muscle/achieve some other specific health goal, I would consult with your vet and form a plan based on the needs and limitations of your specific animals.

If you're talking just 'I don't walk my dogs now, how often is normal?' it really depends. Some people do multiple walks per day, some don't do traditional walks at all and their dogs get exercise in other ways. It just depends on what works for you and your dogs.
 

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Our last dog was perfectly happy not going for walks. Our current dog loves going for walks. Not every dog needs or wants to go for walks.

I agree that before you start anything to get a Vet to check out the dogs so you know how much if any exercise you can do. Also, be aware that the pace may be extremely slow with sniffing and just the age of the dogs.

I know I'm not the same as when I was in my twenties! :)
 

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Does the retriever like any other activities besides walking?
As in, does he enjoy swimming/has he been swimming? Swimming could take a lot of pressure off his joints, keep him cool, and help him exercise.
You could play gentle games of tug or ball too if that motivates/interests him more.

It definitely depends on the specific dog, especially in this age range. I'd take them to the vet and get them checked out first before getting them on any workout routine.

As a general rule to a person owning a dog you should walk them every day. Realistically how many times you actually do depends on your dog, and your schedule. Every other day for an elderly dog should be sufficient.
 

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Good for you!

First step is to get a senior wellness check at the vet. Both dogs need bloodwork done to be sure there isn't any problem with liver or kidney or pancreas or ? The retriever's rear end strength is a worry, you may need x rays and other tests to determine what is going on and what would be good for him.

My dogs get 1-3 walks a day varying from 1/2-4 miles total. Really one doesn't want the dog to be used to a given amount of exercise and at the age of these two daily exercise may be hard on them. A day of rest may be good for them.

I'd walk the min pin for that 20 minutes she tolerates every other day for a couple weeks and add another walk per week until she is looking forward to and happy to be home after daily walks then increase the length of walks every other day to get more endurance on her so in time you might be walking her for up to an hour 3x a week and 20 minutes the other days. That's if she likes it, she doesn't need it.

I wouldn't walk the retriever until you know what is going on with the rear end. He may need physical therapy, just getting a proper bed might even help. An old crib mattress makes a great bed for a big old dog. You might gather up all sorts of poles and sticks and lay out for him to step over. A friend swore the 'rabbit hunts' [on leash walking and sniffing] her elderly husky did through low ground cover at the park kept his muscles strong. I lay an extension ladder on the ground and dogs walk through that so they learn to lift back legs high. Swimming is the very best PT if you have access to warm water. If vet clears him for walking then start with 5 minute walks every other day so you aren't tiring him and increase as you see he is recovering fast after the walk. When Sassy's rear end started to get weak I would have her do very short retrieves up a hill. Important to watch and end any session when you see dog slowing down or getting distracted as that likely means dog is in pain or tired.

Playing with the dogs and training them would increase their overall happiness and health as much as walking them. Old dogs are so cool, you are going to enjoy working with them.
 

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Talk to the Vet about the Golden. If arthritis or nerve issues, you might try glucosamine and pain meds. Glucosamine may take 30 min. to start working.

I walk my 15yo Lab mix for 30 min. twice a day. B/c of arthritis, he strolls at his rate, off leash. But, I think that this regular, daily exercise have led to his longevity.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi everyone.

hanksimon, I am leaning towards buying a brand of glucosamine & fish oil called NerraMax Pro Hip & Joint Supplement because of all the positive reviews it has received. It is in liquid form not a tablet. I am going to do more research before I go ahead & start this treatment on my Golden Retriever because I don't want to be counterproductive towards his health. But I was thinking about starting him off with a low dosage, which was recommended to me by others members here on the forums & that makes the most sense since you wouldn't start a human on a high dosage when it comes to a new medication. Perhaps half the recommended dosage for his weight (He weights approximately 70-90 pounds & not overweight)

I tried taking my two dogs on a walk today to the lake so we all could go swimming together. We wound up not going swimming because they were both very tired. The Golden Retriever tired out very soon compared to the Miniature Pinscher. After about 10 minutes he was exhausted but by that time we weren't near the house so I had to sit & wait for him to recuperate for about 20 minutes or so. I felt extremely bad for doing this to my dog. I am a fool. Even on the way back he was going extremely slow so for now on I am going to walk him around the house once or twice until his tolerance builds up & then I can possibly take him on walks around the neighborhood. If he doesn't build up the strength then I'm not going to force him though. I was heartbroken & felt like **** seeing him struggle on the way back home.

I hope everyone has a great rest of the weekend. Take care everyone. Thank you all.
 

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Even if its a quick stroll or to chase a ball in the backyard, its still exercise! Dont be too hard on yourself!
 

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Since your dogs are seniors, and aren't used to the exercise - I would have the vet check them over first and start small - tossing a ball in the yard even just to build some stamina.

Then I'd transition to two 10-minute walks/day, increasing the duration if possible. You don't want to push them too hard being as how they are older dogs and not used to it.

It can help to bring along some water and take frequent breaks on longer walks too.
 

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I wrote 30 min ... I meant 30 days for glucosamine to start working. Fish oil may work quickly.

My 15 yo Lab mix pants hard when the temperature is over 70 degrees. He gets comparatively frisky when the temperature is below freezing... I am less frisky at those temperatures. But, my point is - could your Golden have been hot, making him tired? Clearly, easier to fix ...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks folks. Going to take these old dogs to the vet. I don't want to kill them when I'm trying to prolong their life. Tossing a ball in the backyard seems like a good idea before I take them on walks.
 

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One thing I have found that really seems to help my 11 year old Bernese cross is Green Lipped Mussel pills. She gets two capsules a day. It contains Glucosamine & Chondroitin, Omega 3's, Vitamin C & E, Copper, Zinc & manganese. I just hand her the two pills and she eats them right up.
 
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