The 7 Best Supplements for Senior Dogs
Thanks to veterinary and nutritional advancements, our dogs are living longer, healthier lives. In order to ensure those twilight years are as comfortable as possible, many dog parents turn to nutritional supplements.
Supplements allow us to target our senior dogs’ specific ailments and may even reduce the need for prescription-strength drugs.
The following suppplements are among the top recommended products for senior dogs. As always, be sure to consult your veterinarian before making any changes to your dog’s dietary or medical regimen.
1. Glucosamine & Chondroitin
Joint pain and arthritis are some of the most common ailments aging dogs face. Supplements containing glucosamine aid in replacing lost joint fluid, providing much-needed lubrication and cushioning to stiff, achy joints. Chondroitin sulfate has been shown to improve the structural integrity of joints by repairing damaged cartilage and preventing further cartilage breakdown.
Probiotics are supplements containing large doses of microorganisms. They promote a healthy GI tract by allowing the “good” bacteria in the gut to flourish. “Bad” bacteria often accumulate due to stress, illness and long-term medication use. Since the majority of your senior dog’s immune system is located in the gut, probiotics also help to maintain health throughout the body.
3. Essential Fatty Acids
Older dogs may experience dry, itchy skin and dull, brittle coats. Adding Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids to a senior dog’s diet can reduce inflammation and promote healthy skin and a soft, shiny coat. Omega-3 fatty acids also support healthy mobility and bone health. Additional benefits in the body include heart health, strong brain function, and visual acuity.
4. Milk Thistle
Natural milk thistle is said to protect the liver from damage and may actually improve liver function. This is important for aging dogs, especially those with existing liver problems and those taking medications known to be taxing on the liver.
This “wonder spice” is a derivative of turmeric and promotes brain and joint health in aging pups. Curcumin is also known for its anti-cancer properties and in helping to support dental health.
6. Coconut Oil
The Lauric acid in coconut oil promotes a healthy immune system, helping your senior dog battle viruses, bacteria, and even cancer. Coconut oil also has anti-inflammatory properties, supports healthy brain and nervous system function, improves skin and coat health, and helps with weight management by promoting healthy metabolism and providing a higher level of energy.
Senior dogs may experience changes in the lining of the intestines which lowers their ability to digest and absorb the nutrients in their food. Adding healthy fiber to your older pup’s diet supports a health digestive system, combats constipation, and promotes overall health.