We can all agree that the worst part of owning a dog is when they cross rainbow bridge. Suffice to say, we love our pups and want them to be happy and healthy for as long as possible. So, if you have the chance to improve your dog’s quality of life, you should definitely take it up.
The best way to do this- aside from lots of exercise, mental stimulation and love- is to add in a few supplements to their daily diet. Whether you’ve been advised to add in some dog supplements by your vet, or you’re simply looking for the best supplements for older dogs, our top picks and buying guide is the ideal place to start.
We pride ourselves on giving you the best information out there, for all your pet needs, and today’s article is no different. Below, we’ll look into what makes a great senior dog supplements, answer some of your most common questions and even give you our top choices for your senior dog vitamins.
Best Supplements for Older Dogs Buying Guide & FAQ
What Traits Should You Look for in a Quality Supplement?
With an increasing demand for quality supplements, the online market has become saturated with some not-so-great copies of the best on the market. If you’re looking for the best dog vitamins for your needs, you should consider the following:
One of the most important questions you should ask yourself before buying your dog supplements is whether or not your chosen brand includes the right ingredients. It’s not uncommon for dog food to have some added extras within their normal food, so you’ll need to be sure that you’re only getting the right dog multivitamins that their diet is currently lacking.
Without this check, you could be doubling-up on certain added extras, while missing some of the vital ingredients your dog’s diet is currently missing. Check the label to be sure you’re adding in the right amounts of the right stuff- especially if your vet has suggested they may need a specific diet.
Not all senior dog supplements are created equal- and not all companies do as they claim. Ideally, you would need to look for vitamins for older dogs that have been clinically commissioned, FDA-approved or certification from approved bodies. Be wary of companies who make claims that are too good to be true- those who claim to cure anything are usually a straight-up no-go.
There isn’t much need for vitamins for older dogs that don’t help with any of the aches and pains that come with growing older. Check reviews and ratings, while keeping an eye on the quality of the product’s ingredients to be sure that the joint supplements for older dogs, for example, have the effectiveness that they promise.
You should also be careful not to give your dogs any supplements that are designed for humans. Some of the ingredients within these, such as garlic, can absolutely be lethal to dogs- especially those with deteriorating health, as they will be unable to process the toxins these ingredients create. Always buy supplements of multivitamins that are designed exclusively for dogs.
Health Benefits of Supplements for Older Dogs
Just like humans, dogs can sometimes require multivitamins or supplements to make up for a lack of necessary organic compounds usually found through their diet. Each of these has an important role to play in the inner-workings of the body and can have a knock-on effect to other areas, particularly in the digestive system.
The most common vitamins your older dog will need to take supplements for are:
- Vitamin A
Great for immune function, cell production- and therefore growth- and, of course, helping with sight. Usually found in carrots, this tends to be one of the most common vitamins lacking in the general diet.
- B vitamins (biotin, folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, thiamine, vitamin B-6, and vitamin B-12)
Vitamin B for dogs is one of the most important parts of an older dogs’ diet. They play a vital role in regulating energy, facilitating enzyme functions and activating ions in the brain tissue. They also help promote a healthy metabolism and protein synthesis.
Most importantly, of all the above, is vitamin B6. This is essential to promoting healthy red cell production, regulate hormones, improve immune response and aid the nervous system- all of which are ideal benefits for older dogs.
- Vitamin C
Acting as an antioxidant, vitamin c works well to process toxins and aid in the anti-inflammatory process, while working against cognitive aging (and keep your dog’s mind sharp).
- Vitamin D
Usually produced from sunlight, taking a vitamin D supplement is a great way to promote healthy bone growth and works to balance minerals such as phosphorous and calcium.
- Vitamin E
A fat-soluble vitamin that helps mobilize cell function and fat metabolism, vitamin E is one of the first lines of defense against degenerative eye and muscle conditions.
- Vitamin K
Another fat-soluble vitamin which works with the bodies digestive system. Vitamin K helps your dog’s blood to clot, when a wound opens.
Choline supports health brain function and tissue regeneration. It also helps with liver functions and can be prescribed to dogs who suffer from epilepsy.
Health Tips for Older Dogs
As your dog gets older, they may begin to suffer with the usual degenerations of bodily functions in the same way us humans do, so it’s important to schedule regular visits with your local vet in order to keep on top of any problems as they arise. This will help nip them in the bud before they become much worse and lead to the general ill-health of your pooch.
Always remember that it’s much cheaper to prevent disease than it is to cure it. So, even though these trips may cost you a little, it’s totally worth it when it comes to your dog’s health. Some places should also offer a scheme where the general health of your dog is checked for free, every six months.
You should also keep on top of your dog’s health by feeding them a high-quality diet, combined with the necessary supplements for older dogs. This will help keep your dog in tip-top physical condition, while also managing their weight which, in turn, will also help their joints.
Even though they’re older, your senior dog will still appreciate regular walkies- even if it’s only down the road and back again. That little added exercise will help keep their joints well-oiled and help to maintain their weight, which is one of the biggest issues older dogs have to deal with.
Don’t forget to take their mental wellbeing into consideration. Lots of mental stimulation, with their favorite toys or games should keep their mind sharp. Be advised, however, that you dog may not always be up for fun and games and you should, naturally, make considerations for their age- especially if their senses are suffering.
Best Supplements For Older Dogs FAQ:
Q: What is considered a senior dog?
A: The exact age at which your dog is considered a senior depends, mostly, on the breed of your pup. You might also notice that the general human to dog ratio in years has differences which are based on the weight of your dog- a chihuahua may naturally have a longer lifespan than a Bullmastiff based on its breed, size and lifestyle, for example.
What’s important is how well your dog ages. A dog can be considered geriatric when they begin to have physical and mental health issues that weren’t prevalent in their younger years. Watch out for signs such as urinating more often, weight issues and cognitive dysfunctions, all of which are indicators of becoming geriatric.
Q: Should I give my senior dog supplements?
A: Supplements are great for dogs of all ages. Indeed, it’s one of the best parts about multivitamins and probiotics, in that you can supplement their main diet with regular, added extras- even when you have a young puppy.
Always check with your vet before giving your dog any supplements, to ensure that there won’t be any adverse reactions- especially if they are currently on medication for any illnesses or diseases. Of course, once they give the go-ahead, you should have no issues with supplementing your older dogs’ diet with multivitamins and probiotics for dogs.
Q: What are the functions of vitamins?
A: As mentioned above, the health benefits of vitamins for dogs can vary depending on how you’re your dog is before use- as well as whether or not you’re able to add high-quality supplements to your dogs’ diet.
In general, the majority of vitamins are designed to assist in the digestion of food and should always be used in conjunction with a healthy diet. Through this, you’ll be able to help your dog create a good balance of hormones and antioxidants, both of which aid in fighting any nasties which can cause your dog to become poorly, while aiding your dog in creating the best immune system and healthy digestive system, possible.
Q: Can I give my dog too many vitamins?
A: This depends entirely on what you’re giving to your dog, which is why it’s important to check your supplements against your dog’s current diet, to ensure that they’re not receiving too much of any one vitamin.
At the very least, too much exposure to one particular vitamins can simply create a very expensive wee if too many vitamins are used. On the other hand, there are some supplements which are absolutely vital to get right. Vitamin A, for example, can harm blood vessels, causing dehydration and joint pain, while too much calcium causes skeletal problems (especially in puppies).
As such, you should always check what has been added to your dog’s kibble before buying supplements, since you could be causing more harm than good- even with the best of intentions!
Q: Is my dog becoming senile?
A: Dementia affects a dog’s memory, motor functions and learned behaviors, so symptoms will always relate to these three areas. There are five main symptoms of doggy dementia that you should look out for, if you’re concerned about the mental wellbeing of your pet. These consist of:
- Altered interactions with family members
- Sleep cycle changes
- Activity level changes
- House soiling
These symptoms become worse over time and so may not be noticeable at first. If, however, you notice any of these issues becoming more frequent, it is likely that your dog may be suffering from mental degeneration caused by dementia.
The good news, however, is that studies have shown that regular exercise, mental stimulation and lots of love help to fight off these symptoms and keep your dog happy and healthy, for longer.
Our Top Pick
Known for their thorough research and high-quality ingredients, Zesty Paws have created another firm favorite with pet owners, with their 8-in-1 multivitamins designed specifically for older dogs. This is another highly-reviewed offering from the masterminds at Zesty Paws and it’s not hard to see why.
These multivitamins for dogs are made with quality ingredients, that have been sourced from the best manufacturers and produced for you at an affordable price. It’s no wonder that these chewable treats are both highly effective and loved by dog owners, everywhere- and therefore it stands at its rightful place as our Top Pick.