Courtesy of atsevabarrera / TikTok
Longtime pet owners know that older pets need different care than their younger siblings, and this dog dad found a creative way to make such an adjustment while- and let the dog play a favorite game from his youth: fetch.
Set to a cover of ABBA’s ‘Slipping Through My Fingers’ by Ethan Hodges — only ring if you’re ready for tears — this spectacular dog dad plays with Goldie and Aussie pups. As he tosses the ball to Aussie, an Australian Shepherd, he gently kicks the ball to Goldie, the Golden Retriever, so that it lands nearby, where she grabs it with a wagging tail and watches her little brother, Aussie, fully running, just like her. used for.
Itsevabarrera’s incredibly sweet video has garnered over 5.3 million views since it was posted on August 21.
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Jenna Stregowski, RVT and pet health and behavior editor for Daily Paws, says this dog dad is doing exactly what he’s supposed to be doing. She reminds pet parents that aging is not a disease, it just often requires some adjustments to ensure your pet continues to live a happy and healthy life into their golden years.
“Senior dogs can still run and play in the dog park,” says Stregowski. “You just want to make changes to accommodate and keep an eye on them. Physical limits don’t mean they don’t need the same mental stimulation they did before.”
For pet parents who want to keep their aging pups active and healthy, Stregowski recommends changing exercise routines to fit their changing needs. For example, a long walk can become two or three shorter walks, and pick-up games involving long sprints can become shorter and more relaxed, as we see in the video. Of course, it’s important to pay attention to your pet’s needs—some 13-year-old dogs may be sprinting like puppies, while other 7-year-old dogs may be sending you signals that it’s time to slow down.
She also recommends food puzzles, indoor games, nose work and even some new tricks to keep your dog mentally stimulated.
“It sounds cliche, but old dogs can learn new tricks!” she says. “There’s no reason why you shouldn’t try to teach your senior dog new things.”
Ultimately, Stregowski recommends paying attention to your dog’s changing needs and doing everything you can to make their life as enriching and comfortable as possible. “It’s really special to be able to give these guys a better time in their golden years,” she says.