Just like humans, as dogs age, their bodies undergo changes that can lead to chronic pain, weight gain, mobility problems and other issues. Fortunately, there are steps you can take, like adding senior dog supplements to your pet's regular diet, to improve an older canine's quality of life.
What To Look for in Senior Dog Supplements
Every dog is different, but many senior pets have similar issues that can be helped by choosing the right supplements. You should always talk to your veterinarian before starting your dog on any new product.
1. Products That Support Joint Health
Many dogs experience osteoarthritis as they age. Large and giant breeds, obese dogs, and dogs that engage in athletic activities are particularly vulnerable to this condition. There is no known cure for osteoarthritis but proper diet, exercise and joint supplements can help keep your dog's joints healthy, control pain, reduce inflammation and slow the progress of the disease.
Look for supplements that contain glucosamine and chondroitin, such as our Move supplement. These ingredients maintain cartilage strength and support healthy joint function. Chondroitin keeps cartilage soft and spongy to cushion and protect joints. Glucosamine is essential for building the structure of cartilage, joint tendons and ligaments. These ingredients also reduce inflammation, increase water retention in cartilage and promote healing.
Methylsulfonylmethane helps repair and regenerate joint cartilage and muscle as well as reducing pain and inflammation. Collagen and curcumin improve balance and reduce inflammation. Curcumin has antioxidant properties that guard against cellular damage and block inflammatory enzymes. It’s found in connective tissue and helps keep tendons, cartilage and bones strong and elastic.
Calcium fructoborate can provide fast pain relief and increased joint flexibility and support. Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce limping, promote cell membrane health and reduce inflammation in joints. Krill is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids and in addition to supporting joint health, it may improve heart function, reduce inflammation and support a healthy skin and coat. Green-lipped mussel contains beneficial glycosaminoglycans, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants and its anti-inflammatory properties help preserve joint function and decrease pain.
2. Senior Dog Supplements That Improve Memory and Cognitive Function
Around the age of 7, your dog's brain may start to have less ability to utilize glucose as a primary energy source. This may impact a canine's learning, memory, decision-making and awareness. Medium-chain triglyceride oils may improve cognitive functioning by providing your dog's brain with an alternative energy source.
Studies have shown that a combination of behavioral enrichment and antioxidants can improve cognitive function and memory in older dogs so look for supplements that contain some of the following:
- Vitamin C may reduce harmful free radicals in the body which can result in less inflammation and cognitive aging
- Vitamin E helps protect against oxidative damage.
- Omega-3 fatty acids, such as eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, may help with both arthritis and cognition
- Taurine has neuroprotective properties and protects against cellular damage
- Phosphatidylserine, Ginkgo biloba, pyridoxine and vitamin E are ingredients found in Nutraceutical supplements which have been found to improve short-term memory in dogs.
3. Senior Dog Supplements That Help With Weight Management
More than 50% of dogs in the United State are obese and senior dogs are more prone to gaining weight because they often get less exercise as they age. You can track your dog's weight at your vet's office, or if you have a small animal, you can weigh them on your scale at home. You can also check for weight gain by looking for a defined tuck at the waist that is visible from the side and above, you should be able to feel your dog's ribs, but not see them.
Excess weight can make many conditions senior dogs are prone to, such as osteoarthritis, worse and it can make your pet more likely to develop some conditions.
Postbiotics, such as BPL1, can help with weight maintenance. Studies have also suggested that L-carnitine may assist with fat metabolism, which could help overweight dogs lose weight. L-carnitine works by attaching to fatty acids and moving them into cellular mitochondria. The mitochondria break down fatty acids to supply energy to the body and boosting this process through supplementation may lower the amount of fat in the bloodstream and reduce body fat accumulation.
4. Senior Dog Supplements for Urinary Incontinence
Incontinence is another problem more common in older dogs. Symptoms of this condition may include dripping urine, excessive licking of the groin area, genital irritation, frequent accidents and urine in your pet's sleeping area.
Incontinence in senior dogs is often age-related but can have other causes, so it is important to have your vet investigate the cause of the problem. Older female pets may experience spay-related incontinence due to low estrogen levels but all senior dogs are at risk of developing bladder leaks because of weakened urethral muscles.
Bee pollen supplements may help with age-related incontinence. Additionally, the phytoestrogens in wild yam and licorice may help strengthen sphincter and bladder muscles in older female dogs.
5. Senior Dog Supplements To Improve Heart Health
About 75% of senior dogs have some type of heart disease and signs of heart disease may include difficulty breathing, coughing, lack of appetite, weight loss and lethargy.
L-carnitine is an amino acid derivative sometimes recommended for treating dogs with heart issues such as dilated cardiomyopathy. Studies have suggested that coenzyme Q-10, which is sometimes used as a treatment for some cancers and inflammatory conditions, may be useful in treating heart disease in canines.
Senior Dog Supplements From Front Of The Pack
Front Of The Pack has tapped some of the brightest minds in biochemistry, animal nutrition, immunology and veterinary science to formulate a line of senior dog supplements that can help prevent or treat many of the common ailments canines experience as they age. The ingredients in our supplements are patented and proven so that you can be confident they will work as advertised. We only work with industry-leading suppliers who guarantee the safety of their products. Learn how our safe and effective products can improve the life of your senior dog.