One of the most magical things about dogs is the way they’re always so filled with excitement and fascination by the little things in life. They remind us that it really is a wonderful world, filled with all sorts of adventures to be had, if we just remember to be present and to enjoy each moment.
Unfortunately, as our canine companions age, it can be difficult to find activities that are suitable for them – especially when it comes to longer and more intense outings and getaways.
Rest assured, though, there are plenty of great ways to keep your senior dog living a full and adventurous life, from helping support their mobility with YuMOVE Joint Care PLUS, to planning the kinds of getaways that they can really get the most out of.
Here are some of the best holiday ideas for senior dogs.
Take them to a dog-friendly glamping site for a luxury stay in the great outdoors
‘Glamping’ (‘glamorous camping’) has become pretty popular in recent times, and it’s not too hard to see why. Depending on how you go about it, a glamping experience could involve anything from spending your nights in a comfortable and atmospheric yurt and exploring areas of outstanding natural beauty by day, to something bordering on a spa resort experience, with regular forest walks thrown in for good measure.
Fortunately, it’s not just us humans who get to enjoy the pleasures of a glamping getaway. Various cosy glamping resorts are explicitly pet-friendly, meaning that your older dog can enjoy a bit of extra comfort, TLC and recovery in between walks in the great outdoors.
Meon Springs is just one example of a glamping site where well-behaved dogs are welcome. Accommodation options include shepherds’ huts and yurts, with amenities including underfloor heating, fireplaces, beds, kitchen facilities, and more.
With this type of holiday destination, your senior pup gets to experience new and exciting sights and sounds in the great outdoors, while also being able to rest and recover in style.
Go on an exciting road trip together (and be sure to pack their creature comforts)
Road trips don’t necessarily have a reputation for being especially cosy and relaxing, but believe it or not, they can be a great holiday option for your older dog.
Why? Well, for any dog to live their best life, they need to be able to explore the world directly, using all their senses – peering, sniffing, and pawing at what they encounter. Visiting new locations can be especially rewarding and stimulating for our canine companions.
The issue is that, as dogs age, they may experience limited mobility that gets in the way of them comfortably going for longer walks. This means they can miss out on all those new sounds, sights, and scents that make the world such an interesting place.
Road trips are potentially a great workaround here. All your dog needs to do is relax in the car during the journey, and at every stop they’ll have a new setting to explore, without having to trek for miles at a time to get there.
Just be sure to pack your dog’s favourite creature comforts for the road. Things like a cosy dog bed, a toy they really enjoy, enough food and treats to keep them fully nourished and satisfied, and – of course – their YuMOVE supplement.
One important note: before embarking on a longer road trip, check that your dog copes well with being in a car. If they seem to get car sick or stressed while going for drives, consider consulting with your vet for advice.
Opt for a relaxed seaside getaway, with regular beach walks and ocean swims
Seaside getaways are famously rejuvenating and relaxing – and this can be just as true for your dog as it is for you. Between the fresh sea air, the laid-back holiday atmosphere, and the sunshine that’ll hopefully be present most days, it’s easy to live your best life when you’re next to the sea.
For your older dog, though, there’s an extra bonus to consider: the opportunity for regular low-impact exercise in the form of swimming in the sea.
Swimming is a great workout for dogs and humans alike, and works the muscles and the cardiovascular system while being far gentler on the joints than going for a run. Swimming can also be a fun activity that many dogs will take to with enthusiasm.
Of course, it’s important to be mindful of a few details before taking your dog for a dive.
Make sure you visit a dog-friendly beach (with dog-friendly waters)
Many beaches aren’t dog-friendly, but plenty are. Research your destination beforehand and ensure that the beach you’re planning on visiting not only welcomes canine visitors, but also has waters that are generally considered safe for dogs to swim in. That means no dangerous wildlife sightings in the area, no strong currents, and no problematic coastal features.
This guide on the best dog-friendly beaches in the UK, from CountryLiving, may be a good place to start your research.
Accompany your dog closely in the water, and strongly consider getting them a canine life jacket
While dogs naturally tend to be good swimmers, older dogs are likely to tire out more easily and to experience limited mobility. This can put them at greater risk when in the water.
For this reason, it’s important to accompany your dog closely when they’re in the water. It’s also an excellent idea to consider getting them a canine life jacket, such as the Float Coat sold by Ruffwear. This helps to provide an extra level of safety, even if your dog becomes exhausted.
Be mindful of the weather conditions and the current before taking your dog for a swim
If you’re planning on taking your dog for a swim, make sure that you choose a day when the waters are calm, and when there are no strong winds blowing. Be mindful of any signal flags or safety guidance given on the beaches you visit.
Ride off on a cycling vacation (with a pet trailer in tow)
Riding off on a cycling vacation, with your dog in tow, has some of the same benefits as going on a road trip. Most notably, your dog gets to enjoy new sights, sounds and locales throughout the journey.
Of course, it’s out of the question for your dog to just run alongside your bike as you cycle up and down the country – and they’re probably not going to be very impressed if you ask them to ride their own, either. That’s where dog-friendly adaptations such as the Tail Wagon pet trailer come into play.
With a Tail Wagon or similar pet trailer attached to your bicycle, you do all the work of pedalling and getting into the best shape of your life, while your dog relaxes and takes in the journey. And unlike when driving in a car, your dog gets to experience a much more intimate sense of their surroundings – from feeling the wind in their fur, to smelling tantalising new scents along the way.
Dogs at every age greatly benefit from staying mobile and getting out and about on a regular basis. To help support your dog’s mobility in their senior years, consider giving them YuMOVE Joint Care PLUS, our high-strength joint supplement designed for stiffer, older dogs who need extra joint support.