Herbs and supplements have long been used to ease the symptoms of aging in people, but new research is showing that many of those same compounds can help your senior dog age gracefully. If your beloved pooch is going gray, here are some things to consider.
Talk To Your Vet
Senior pets should be getting regular checkups anyway, so take advantage of those checkups to talk about potential supplement use. Be sure to discuss possible side effects, as well as potential interactions with any prescription medications your dog might be on.
Research Each Supplement
Not all supplements are created equal. Look up reviews from both pet owners and veterinarians, and be particularly careful if you’re using human supplements on your pets. Some are safe, but others contain inactive or minor compounds that are toxic to dogs.
Introduce Oils, But Take It Slow
Senior dogs can be prone to skin problems, and introducing a small amount of oil to your dog’s diet can combat that. Olive and coconut are safe and tasty choices, and they may even contain anti-inflammatory compounds. Start very small, though, and never overdo it. Too much can cause digestive upset.
Fight Arthritis With Fatty Acids
It’s normal for old dogs to slow down and develop some minor arthritis pain, and omega acids can provide natural anti-inflammatory support. These compounds aren’t a replacement for prescription medication when it comes to severe pain, but they may slow the progression and ease early symptoms. Look for supplements that contain omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
Probiotics Provide Plenty of Benefits
Probiotic supplements contain healthy bacteria that occur naturally in the digestive system. These probiotics not only help keep your old dog’s gut moving normally, but they may also help boost your pooch’s immune system. Only give your dog probiotics specifically designed for canines, as all species have different digestive systems.
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Hit Arthritis With a One-Two Punch
Glucosamine and chondroitin are two of the most common joint supplements, and there is some solid evidence that they may help with arthritis and joint health. Consider starting your senior pet on these before any obvious symptoms show up, because they provide critical nutrients to help repair normal damage to cartilage. This may help delay the onset of joint pain.
Antioxidants Help Dogs, Too
Antioxidant foods may be the latest trend in dieting, but it’s for good reason. These nutrients can help prevent disease, maintain organ health and more. Consider supplementing your older dog’s diet with beta carotene to support eye health and vitamin E to support healthy skin and fur.
Focus On Overall Health
Don’t neglect the foundations of health. Choose a high-quality food or feed a well-researched and balanced homemade diet, and make sure you feed appropriate amounts so your dog maintains a healthy weight. And remember to stay active, even if you have to dial it back a bit as your four-legged friend ages.
Senior dogs may need a little extra support, but the right supplements combined with a healthy lifestyle can keep them feeling young. Keep your older pet even more comfortable with this cozy cuddler bed.
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