As dogs age, their bodies need help keeping up with various systems. While each dog is an individual, there are a few categories that every dog will benefit from. Read on for help with keeping your furry friends happy and active longer.
Most dogs are considered a senior at age 7 or older. Watch for changes in your dog’s appearance, activity levels, and behaviour to know if it’s time to add in these supplements. You can always give them preventatively too. If you’re unsure, talk to us or your integrative vet.
Joints and mobility support
Behaviours that may suggest your dog needs support:
- Slow to get up
- Not wanting to walk for as long
- Licking joints
- Unexpected change in temperament (snapping when being touched etc)
Ingredients to look for:
- Hyaluronic Acid
- Studied for humans with osteoarthritis, this naturally occurring acid performs many functions in the body including lubricating joints
- Omega 3s
- Reducing inflammation helps the body in many areas, including joints, but also skin, fur, eyes, and even the brain.
"GLM" contain naturally occurring glucosamine, chondroitin, and omega 3s. This whole food ingredient is easily digested by the body. You can give it in the form of whole raw or dehydrated mussels, or powdered. Fluid X makes a powdered Green Lipped Mussel supplement which is high quality and easy to use.
Elk velvet antler provides an all natural source of glucosamine, chondroitin, collagen and hyaluronic acid; as well as insulin-like growth factors IGF-1 & 2.
Includes boswellia serrata, devils claw and fennel extracts recognized for their anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.
A great all around muscle and joint supplement for dogs of any age, but especially for seniors. It contains all the ingredients to support healthy joints, as well as magnesium, calcium, and vitamin E which has antioxidant properties and helps slow muscle degeneration.
This all in one supplement for senior dogs uses whole food ingredients for maximum bioavailability. On top of the common joint support ingredients above, it has digestive support through probiotics and digestive enzymes, which are commonly lacking in senior dogs.
If you’re looking for a single supplement for your senior dog, this is the one. See the full list of ingredients and benefits here.
Watch your dog’s weight, extra pounds add more stress on joints. Keeping your dog at their ideal weight has been shown to extend their lifespan, as well as keeping them more comfortable.
Ingredients to look for:
- Available in many foods like berries, spinach, and carrots, as well as in Vitamin E and C
- Omega fatty acids
- DHA, a component of Omega 3 acids, is integral to brain function and has been shown to improve cognition in older adults. Further, as brains age, they lose the ability to turn glucose into energy, but are still able to use fats.
- Mushrooms like Reishi and Lion's Mane
- Antioxidant rich, stimulate nerve growth which promotes brain health.
Fish, plankton, sea algae, and hemp all contain naturally occurring Omega 3s and are great supplement options in the form of oil. Make sure you’re getting a high quality product, and keep it in the fridge to avoid oxidation.
Old Friend from Pet Wellbeing contains a mix of herbs designed to increase alertness, vitality, digestion, and mobility. It contains reishi mushroom and Eleuthero root for mental support.
As with humans, using your brain keeps it healthy longer. Give your dog mentally stimulating toys, and trade out the time you used to take for long walks and teach them a new trick or play a game of hide and seek.
Your dog’s microbiome is also likely to decline, as various illnesses and medications have a harmful effect on the bacteria that live in the digestive tract.
Providing probiotics and maybe even digestive enzymes can help your dog get the most of their nutrition.
Feeding a high quality diet is also important. Consider switching to a diet with lower processing, like dehydrated, freeze-dried, or raw. When making the switch, remember to go slow as you want to go easy on your dog’s system. Watch our video here on how to transition to raw for seniors.