Best Wellness Products For Senior Dogs
It’s said the only fault of a dog is that they don’t live long enough, and though I’m hesitant to ever give any dog the blame for anything, I have to agree. We lost our 12-year-old Golden Retriever earlier this year and we still miss her every day. In the last few years as she’s slowed down and aged some (and especially in the last year-and-a-half that we amputated one of her legs), I’ve looked high and low for products that made her senior days the best they could be. Here are the top ten you’ll want for your senior pup!
1. Editor’s Choice: Glycoflex Plus Chews
I came across these chews at Global Pet Expo in March and talked with the team at VetriScience about what makes these things amazing. Aside from the clinical results they give for hind strength, I found my girl’s energy level seemed to perk up a bit too. They have clean ingredients that make a big difference, and she loved the flavor of the chews. The chews come in duck, bacon, and peanut butter flavor, so you can pick the taste your pooch prefers. All the chews in their line are great, and I even give the Glycoflex plus to my young dog to keep her hind legs the best they can be. They even have a formula that is specially created for the needs of small dogs. These chews are a must for any senior dog!
2. Runner Up: The Missing Link Senior
This is another fabulous find from Global and the folks at the Missing Link could not have been more helpful in deciding what would be right for my Olden Golden. Dogs feel good when their bodies feel good, and this powder was specifically formulated to support an elderly dog’s overall health. Glucosamine and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids will support joint and bone health, and dietary fiber and phytonutrients encourage healthy digestion and boost overall health. It’s a non-GMO, cold-pressed supplement packed with probiotics, phyto nutrients and fatty acids that keep your dog’s gut in great health, and between this and the Glycoflex Plus chews? It was as if my three-legged, 12-year-old dog was a pup! Another must-have supplement in an amazing line of great products.
3. Best for Hardwood Floors: Toe Grips
So, you know how you look at a dog in booties and think, “There is NO way my dog will wear those!!”? I thought so too…and I was right, my dog did not love booties of any kind to keep her from slipping. It’s important that senior dogs don’t fall/slip/slay out because they can really damage older bones, and that’s why these Toe Grips rock. They’re not booties, and though a little weird at first, your dog figures out that they DO help and they can go more places. The vet who designed them works with at-risk senior dogs and created them just for our elderly pups, and we love the mission and commitment!
4. Best for Cracked Paws: Organic Paw Balm
If your senior dog is like mine was, there’s an awful lot of sleeping done. Whether it’s on their bed, by your feet or just in a nice sunny spot–there’s nothing better than a good rest. Except…as dogs age, they get calluses. These are thick, rough spots that form over pressure points and basically form as your dog has spent years flopping herself onto a nice, cool spot on a hard surface. Just like in humans, calluses occur, and this organic paw balm hits the spot. It keeps the skin softer, and less prone to infection, which is not something you want in your senior dog! The all-plant based blend does not contain any harsh chemicals, parabens, sulfates, or synthetic, artificial dyes, or fragrances. It’s also alcohol-free, so this formula makes a perfect choice for pets with sensitive skin, allergies, and of course, seniors that need regular paw care to keep scaly, rough skin at bay – including hyperkeratosis.
5. Best for Boo-Boos: PawFlex Bandages
Just like in humans, getting old is not for sissies! As we age, we have more health issues that come up and they often necessitate bandages! We cannot tell you how much we love PawFlex bandages for any dog, but especially for seniors. The founder of PawFlex is a dog lover herself who has cared for so many senior dogs–they’re her inspiration! PawFlex bandages are award-winning and made of super-stretch, non-adhesive fabric that are breathable, non-irritating and water resistant, and we love that the company focuses on making good products for our pets affordable and effective.
6. Best for Sleeping: Big Barker Extra Large Dog Bed
Big Barker specializes in beds for big dogs as their bodies need more support than just the average dog beds. Especially large senior dogs. That is why we think the Big Barker dog bed should be on your list for products for senior dogs. The Big Barker is a therapeutic mattress that has been uniquely engineered to help keep your big dog feeling young, so don’t wait! And for your older dog, this bed has been clinically proven in a University of Pennsylvania study to improve the quality of life in big older dogs in just 28 days. The Big Barker Bed was found to reduce joint pains and stiffness, improved joint function and gait and helped dogs with arthritis get a restful night’s sleep. And if style is important to you, you’ll be pleased to hear that there are 4 modern color options to choose from: khaki, chocolate, burgundy, or charcoal gray.
7. Best for Small Dogs: Friends Forever Orthopedic Dog Bed (Small Dogs)
Not to leave the little guys out, this bed will heal what ails those achy joints in your smaller senior. The orthopedic memory foam is hypoallergenic and what is found in high-end mattresses for humans. It’ll give your little senior support and sweet dreams! The memory foam adapts to their unique body shape, relieving pain and pressure from key points, making sure that their body is supported and spine properly aligned. The cushioned poly-filled bolster gives your tiny senior a place to rest their head on for additional comfort, and the supporting memory foam base is encased in a water-resistant liner that protects it from spills and potty accidents. To boot, the cover of the bed is removable and machine washable, so you can keep it tidy and clean at all times. This orthopedic small dog bed comes in pewter grey, cocoa brown, and khaki beige.
8. Best for Aches: CannaBoost Power Up
The power of Cannabinoid-Based products is evident as CBD is all everywhere. In pets, it’s just as powerful as they’re finding CBD-based products to be in humans, but be careful as all CBD/hemp-based products are not created equally. This one was MAGIC after we amputated my dog’s leg when she was 11-years-old. It helped take away the pain, as well as ease her anxiety. Elderly dogs often suffer from separation anxiety more because their hearing goes and they’re realizing their limitations. The CannaBoost Power Up is great for not just aches and pains in your senior love, but anxiety when you’re gone, during storms and just when they don’t seem to be themselves.
9. Best for Chewing: Playology Silver All-Natural Scented Dental Chew Stick
That’s why we love the Playology Silver All-Natural Scented Dental Chew Stick. It is designed especially with the oral health of senior dogs in mind, and every feature is tailored to their unique needs in golden years. The deep, brush-like grooves are not just fun to gnaw on, but they also deep clean their teeth, preventing plaque and tartar buildup. But the texture and the firmness are just right for the sensitive teeth of senior dogs – not too rigid to protect their gums and teeth from pain, but with enough give to provide an effective cleaning. And as a cherry on top, this chew stick is scented – you can pick between peanut butter or pork, whichever fragrances will entice your pooch more. As they chew, scent particles will be released to keep them occupied and engaged in play. Pet-safe and made from high-quality materials, all Playology toys are tested to meet U.S. government human child safety standards for lead, phthalates, BPA and other toxins deemed hazardous.
10. Best for Hot Spots: Bodhi Dog HotSpot Spray
While this is a great spray for dogs of any age, for our seniors, hotspots can be particularly frustrating and irritating. And, we don’t want to put lots of icky chemicals on our pets so finding an effective, non-steroidal hotspot spray is tough. Not anymore! We love this one from Bodhi dog – essential oil based to help prevent and clear hotspots and give your senior dog less itching and scratching and more belly-rubbing time! The lemongrass scent is pleasant and not overwhelming, and all natural ingredients mean that the spray is completely safe and gentle on skin. This spray is hand-crafted in the USA, in small batches to ensure the highest quality.
What supplements can I give my old dog?
Every dog is different – some seniors are active, others have medical conditions, some are small breeds, others are large breeds; so you will have to tailor your choice of supplements to suit your dog’s unique needs. Some supplements that most senior dogs need and that could be beneficial for all dogs in golden years include joint supplements (rich in essential fatty acids and glucosamine), probiotics and prebiotics for improved digestion, and antioxidant complex to support their overall health, but particularly cognitive function. It’s best to consult with a vet that is informed about your pet’s health history about what type of supplements could benefit them the most in their senior years.
Should older dogs get vitamins?
If your pet is getting high-quality food adapted to the needs of senior dogs that meets AAFCO guidelines, it usually means that there is no need to introduce specific vitamins through supplementation – they are already getting everything they need from their food. Supplementation in the form of targeted effects such as joint support or digestion improvement are very welcome in senior years, but when it comes to vitamins alone, there usually isn’t any need for them if the diet is balanced and complete. If you are unsure about the quality of your pet’s diet (e.g. you feed raw or home cooked) consult with a veterinarian to check if there could be any vitamin deficits that need to be taken into account.
What minerals do senior dogs need?
Senior dogs need various minerals in their diet to keep them in their best shape even in their golden years. Zinc and selenium keep their coat lustre and antioxidants such as copper, iron, and manganese remove free radicals and support overall health. These minerals are usually already in the food your pet eats – provided that it’s balanced and nutritionally complete – usually there’s no need to add minerals through supplements, as it is easy to go overboard and cause more damage than good.
What can I feed my senior dog to gain weight?
If you’ve eliminated a possible underlying health issue as a cause of your senior dog’s weight loss (which should be the first step you take), it might just be that their change in weight is only a part of the aging process. In this case, you can try to bring them back to their previous, healthy weight with a diet that is more nutrient dense and has more calories than what you usually feed your pet. Wet food makes an excellent choice as it is tasty, easy to eat even with sensitive teeth and can promote a healthier weight gain – it can even be used as a topper to encourage your senior to eat more kibble. Don’t fall into the trap of trying fatty foods to get your pooch to bulk up, as this can lead to pancreatitis in seniors, a severe health issue that shouldn’t be risked, particularly in old dogs.
- Why Senior Dog Wellness Checkups are Important
- Expert Advice: Supplements and Diet For Senior Dogs
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More by Lori Ennis