Whether you own a bouncing puppy with bags of energy or an older mutt who's a little grey around the muzzle, any mention of 'walkies' is sure to be greeted with a wagging tail.

But not only is a good run around the park or a ramble through the countryside great fun for both you and your pet, it's also essential for keeping your canine companion in good health.

And this is just as important when your dog starts to grow older. Alongside a healthy diet of premium dog food, regular exercise is vital in order to avoid obesity and keep your pooch looking and feeling great right into their twilight years.

"The most important thing with older dogs is making a routine," Nann Dawn, shelter manager at the Oakland Adoption Center in California, told the Dog Daily.

"Make time for exercise every day. They can't afford at their age to be weekend warriors."

As our pet's age, they become more susceptible to certain health conditions such as osteoporosis and stiff joints, but the right sort of physical activity will not only help maintain and protect your dog's joints and muscles, but it will also help stimulate them mentally.

However, while some dogs remain energetic right into old age, others may start to slow down a little, so it is important to be aware of your pet's limitations and not over exert them.

Dawn adds that dog owners might want to avoid exercising their older canine with young boisterous pups or those that may be aggressive or overly energetic.

"Older dogs can't take those adolescent body slams," she explains. "Most of them can't keep up with the youngsters."

Swimming is an ideal exercise for older dogs since it is low-impact so is kind to their joints, but you can't go too wrong with a gentle walk around the block or through the park sticking to a pace at which your pooch is comfortable.

Written by: Hannah