Thanks to advancements in veterinary health and wellness, our pets are living longer, healthier lives. And with these continuing advancements come new tips and information on how we can help our furbabies enjoy their golden years. Just one of those ways is by giving your senior pooch supplements, which can help lessen the symptoms of common aging problems.
And while dietary supplements can benefit dogs at all of their life stages, not all are made for senior dogs. With so many supplements on the market, do you know which ones are the best for your aging pooch? Here are five supplements we recommend for senior dogs.
- Glucosamine & Chondroitin
One of the most common ailments plaguing senior dogs is joint pain and arthritis. Glucosamine and chondroitin are compounds found in healthy cartilage. Supplements containing glucosamine aid in replacing lost joint fluid, which provides lubrication and cushioning to achy joints. Chondroitin sulfate helps to improve the structural integrity of joints, repairing damaged cartilage and preventing further cartilage breakdown. Pair with fatty acids for better adsorption.
- Digestive Supplements
As dogs age, it’s harder for them to absorb the nutrients out of food. As well, any number of ailments can affect appetite, resulting in weight loss—that’s why you need to help your dog make every calorie, mineral, and vitamin count. Give your senior dog a digestive supplement that contains enzymes and probiotics. When combined, they help your dog maintain a healthy and regular digestive tract.
- Essential Fatty Acids
Your dog’s skin ages too, leading to dry skin and brittle coats. Add Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids to your senior dog’s diet—it helps to reduce inflammation, and promotes healthy skin and a shiny coat (although, it won’t do anything to change grey fur back to its natural color!). Not only does it help skin stay supple, but Omega-3 fatty acids also support healthy mobility and bone health. Need more reasons to give your dog a fatty acid supplement? They boast additional benefits including helping heart health, promoting strong brain function, and fine-tuning visual acuity.
- Liver Supplements
The largest internal organ in your dog’s body, the liver works hard to maintain his general health—it produces bile for digestion, and it rids your dog’s body of daily toxins and chemicals. Whether you’re just being proactive or your dog suffers from liver disease, a supplement can help. You may want to try S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe), a synthetic form of a compound that supports healthy liver structure and function. Or giveMilk thistle a go, which is a natural supplement that protects liver cells and may even help prevent liver disease.
Lastly, Antioxidants are another important supplement you can give your senior dog, as they can help improve memory and cognitive function. Supplements such as vitamins C and E can be added to your dog’s food, or you look forfruits and vegetable ingredients that are high in antioxidant content on the labels of dog food and treats. These include berries, like blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries, and apples—plus, they all boast beneficial prebiotic fibers.
Always consult with your vet to determine an overall wellness strategy and to learn what supplements are right for your pooch.