The Best Supplements for Senior Dogs
Dogs today live longer than ever before, but with this increase in longevity comes ever-increasing veterinary costs and an increased need to prevent conditions that afflict older dogs, including cancer, arthritis, cataracts and thinning hair.
Luckily, implementing a healthy diet, supplements and certain holistic practices can not only increase your dog's quality of life and decreases illness and disease, but also save you money in the long run! Learn what your dog's energy levels are telling you about his health, and get simple tips you can use to improve them today.
What are common causes for lack of energy in a dog?
- Inappropriate or inadequate diet
- Nutritional deficiency
- Liver issues
How can I keep my canine friend in the best state of health?
High Quality Diet: Between low- and high-grade dog food is a world of difference. In the long run, eating well can help your dog maintain a safe weight, a healthy heart, a long life, and decent doggy breath. It's worth spending a little more on food to be sure they're getting everything they need and nothing they don't. In the end, you're likely to save money in veterinary care!
Regular Checkups. To ensure your dog stays healthy and happy, it's important they see a vet regularly. Preventative measures help immensely, and conditions caught early are generally easier and less costly to treat. The vet isn't just for sick dogs.
Exercise! What's virtually cost free, takes just a half an hour a day, and will help both you and your dog stay slim and healthy? Exercise! A healthy dog is a happy dog, and time spent walking is time spent bonding with their owner and loving every second of their great adventure.
AND Natural Supplements.
What can a supplement do for my dog?
Natural supplements are known to have fewer side effects than their pharmaceutical counterparts and can provide many benefits such as fighting disease, slowing the aging process, and enhancing health. There are canine supplements out there for a number of purposes including:
- Help manage arthritis and hip dysplasia
- Reduce hair loss and improve lackluster coat
- Correct poor digestion or appetite
- Combat allergies
- Reduce gas/flatulence
- Prevent obesity
- Reduce stress
- Help correct dry or itchy skin
- Restore vitality to aging or sick pets
- Assist with healthy liver function
- Increase energy levels
- Increase immune system function
- Improve circulation and flow of oxygen and blood through the body
- Keep your pet healthy and happy!
Should I give my dog a supplement?
Often, dog foods contain poor quality ingredients, chemical additives and preservatives. Commercial pet foods sometimes claim to be balanced or complete formulas, but often only meet minimum standard health requirements. That could lead to an inadequate dietary intake of essential minerals and vitamins, resulting in a dog who operates below full capacity. A supplement can ensure that your pet is getting everything it needs nutritionally! A few supplements to consider include:
Milk Thistle: Promotes detox and liver health in dogs. As such, it can prevent liver inflammation and disease. Dosage: 1/4 tsp milk thistle tincture per 20lbs, divided between 2 or 3 doses each day.
Curcumin: Promotes brain and joint health and is known for its anti-cancer properties. Curcumin is a derivative of turmeric and is available in a small concentrated orange supplement. Dosage: Begin at 5mg per 20lbs daily and gradually increase to 20mg per 20lbs daily.
Olive Oil: Promotes optimal cognition and mental health, healthier skin and coat, and improved immunity. A little bit added to their food bowl is great no fuss way to promote health in a senior dog. Dosage: Start with just 1/4 tsp per day added to food and gradually work up to 1/2 tsp per 20lbs daily.
Coconut Oil: Promotes health due to the viral, bacterial, protozoan, and even cancer preventing properties of the lauric acid in it. Dosage: Start with just 1/4 tsp per day added to food and gradually work up to 1 tsp per 10lbs or 1tbsp per 30lbs daily.
Fiber: Promotes a health digestive system and regular bowel movements.Since their digestive system directly affects how well their body can absorb and use nutrients, a healthier digestive system will truly benefit their entire body. Dosage: For small dogs, 1/2 tsp Metamucil mixed into food or water two times daily. For large dogs, 2 tsps Metamucil mixed into food or water two times daily.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin: Promotes joint health and joint pain relief. A great one for older dogs with aging bones - especially those with arthritis or hip dysplasia issues. Dosage: As concentration varies from supplement to supplement, consult bottle directions for dosing guidance.
Vitamin C: Promotes healing and bone health, prevents urinary tract infections, and is known to be helpful for older dogs with distemper and hip dysplasia symptoms. Vitamin C should be avoided, however, if your dog has a history of or increased risk for oxalate bladder stones. Dosage: 625 mg daily for small dogs, 2500mg daily for medium sized dogs, and 5000mg daily for dogs over 100lbs.