In honor of Adopt a Senior Pet Month, we’re taking some time to focus on the needs and care of our elderly pups. Many dogs are considered to be seniors by the time they reach the age of 7, although this can vary depending on breed and size.
Regardless, your dog is bound to experience both internal and external age-related changes as he graduates from puppyhood and grows into his golden senior years. Whether you’ve adopted your dog as a senior or had him since puppyhood, it’s important to understand, anticipate, and address your dog’s changing health needs as he gets older.
What are Supplements?
Many humans take daily multivitamins to support their overall health. Others may take supplements to address more specific needs. For example, a vegan may take vitamin B12 supplements to make up for the lack of nutrients found in animal products; someone who doesn’t get enough exposure to sunlight may need to take a vitamin D supplement.
Simply put, supplements are concentrated ingredients that are taken to boost one’s health: vitamins, minerals, amino acids, herbs, botanicals, and enzymes, for example. Like humans, dogs can take supplements to address any nutritional gaps. Supplements can also be used for therapeutic purposes.
Remember that supplements are, well, supplemental. In other words, they should not be used as a replacement for prescription medications or a healthy lifestyle.
Does Your Dog Need Supplements?
Aging is inevitable, and with aging comes a variety of health issues. Your senior dog has different needs and abilities than his younger counterparts. For example, as Fido loses his ability to effectively digest and absorb essential nutrients from his food, he’ll need a senior-specific diet filled with higher quality protein levels.
For some dogs, a healthy, nutrient-rich diet may be sufficient. Others with specific health needs or nutritional gaps could benefit from a supplement to slow the progression of certain health conditions and ease related discomfort.
Even if there is no urgent need for supplements, a daily multivitamin can be helpful for improving your dog’s overall health and quality of life. Plus, it may even delay premature aging.
Consult your vet to determine whether your senior dog has any nutritional deficiencies or health conditions that could benefit from a specific supplement. After all, you want to make sure you’re giving your pooch the appropriate supplement(s) for his needs.
Choosing the Right Senior Dog Supplements
Any addition to your dog’s diet should be selected carefully. After all, you want the best for your furry friend! In order to choose the best supplements for your senior dog, be sure to do the following:
Choose supplements specifically based on your dog’s needs. If your dog is having trouble digesting his food, skin and coat supplements won’t exactly do the trick.
Only choose supplements specifically designed for dogs. Supplements from your own medicine cabinet can contain ingredients that can be harmful to your pup.
Look for reputable, credible brands with established expertise.
Read labels carefully to ensure that you’re giving your pooch something safe.
- Look for a lot number on the product—this is proof that the company undergoes quality control checks.
Of course, it’s always helpful to seek vet recommendations as well. Plus, a vet-approved supplement may offer more value and peace of mind than a random product found in the pet supply aisle at the store.
Senior Dog Supplements to Keep in Mind
Dog supplements can essentially be broken down into 4 categories: multivitamins, prebiotics & probiotics, antioxidants, and amino & fatty acids.
Some common, effective supplements for senior dogs include (but are not limited to):
Vitamin B complex for boosting energy, improving appetite, and promoting dental health
Vitamin E for healthy skin
Vitamin K for bone proteins and other proteins
Omega 3s and 6s for healthy skin and coat, and reduced joint discomfort
Glucosamine for improving mobility and joint function
Probiotics and digestive enzymes for healthy digestion and nutrient absorption
- Folic acid for boosting metabolism
If you’re not sure where to start, boost your pet’s immune system and overall health with PetHonesty’s Senior Health and Wellness Booster 3-Pack, which includes:
- Senior Allergy Support Soft Chews
- Advanced Multivitamin (with glucosamine, omega-3, probiotics, and more)
- Allergy SkinHealth Food Topper
These chews contain blends of essential vitamins, minerals, and other natural ingredients that keep your senior dog living his life to the fullest!