Being an older dog is tough for both the dog and the owner. Changes will have to be made to adapt to their new pace and habits. You might not be able to enjoy the same things you used to with them, and you may start to see some signs of mental decline in addition to lower activity. There are also higher risks of them becoming obese as they age. This is why you need to pay special attention to what they put in their bodies now more than ever. Here are some nutrition and supplementation tips for senior dogs.
1. Look into Glucosamine
Glucosamine is a popular supplement both for humans and dogs. Glucosamine is often used by athletes to aid in recovery or older people dealing with joint pain. It can be used the same way with dogs and its efficacy has been proven by many studies. Glucosamine is a sugar combined with an amino acid that promotes the production of cartilage. Cartilage is what cushions the joints, and older dogs are not capable of producing it at the same rate as when they were young, hence the pain.
Glucosamine supplements for dogs are often combined with chondroitin to make them even more efficient in boosting cartilage production. If you want to learn more about glucosamine chondroitin for dogs, we suggest you check out YuMove. They have an article examining exactly what glucosamine chondroitin for dogs is and how it works. They also explain what makes their formula a good choice.
2. Go Lean
If you want them to preserve their joints and bones, you should also make sure that they don’t get too heavy. Obesity is common in older dogs, so you will need to make changes to their diets. You will need to start restricting calories and cut out the fat. Your vet could recommend a particular feed for you, or you could look at some of the options for seniors on the market. It’s estimated that an older dog will need 20% fewer calories to maintain their weight compared to when they were younger.
You also have to pay attention to how old they are. Just like humans, dogs start losing weight when they go from old to very old. So, you will need to switch back to a higher-calorie diet rich in protein once they reach that stage.
3. Research Antioxidants
Antioxidants are another great supplement to add to their diet. This is especially important if you want them to keep their mental faculties. Studies have shown that behavioral enrichment and a diet rich in antioxidants could help slow down cognitive decline in dogs and improve their memory.
Here, you can either decide to supplement your dog’s diet with things like vitamin C or E, but you can also give them whole foods. Berries like blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries are all full of antioxidants and great for dogs. Red Delicious and Granny Smith apples are great additions as well.
So, if you want your aging dog to feel like new again, make sure that you follow those tips. We also suggest that you change their exercise routine so they can stay fit while avoiding injuries.