Vitamins for Older Dogs
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Dogs go through many changes during old age, on both physiological and behavioral levels. Whilst these changes are normal, they can be minimized with the objective of maintaining the best quality of life possible for your dog.
To do this, a key source of help are vitamins for older dogs. In general, these products are of natural origin, and they alleviate pain or even act as a stimulant for the dog by giving them an energy and vitality boost.
This AnimalWised article will give you some tips to work out if your dog requires these supplements, and if so, we'll also tell you which are available on the market.
Diets for older dogs
As a dog approaches old age, you should start gradually introducing dietary changes.
It is most recommended to choose a good quality dog food which is specifically designed for older dogs, known as "senior" food. This is a very important change, since an older dog needs an extraordinary quantity of nutrients such as proteins, which reinforce their muscle mass. However, they also need to control their weight, since being overweight or obese can be fatal for an older dog.
Vitamin or nutrient supplements should only be given to your dog as long as the diet is appropriately balanced. These products should not be used as substitutes for a balanced diet, and neither should they be treated as completely necessary for your dog.
Does my dog need vitamins?
It's best if the decision to supplement your dog's diet is not made by you alone. Rather, the vet is best placed to assess your pet's health and consider the use of these products.
Remember that decreased physical activity, changes in your dog's fur and a state of increased fatigue are common symptoms in elderly dogs, and don't indicate an extraordinary need for certain nutrients.
If your older dog suffers from blood flow problems, metabolism issues or a disease such as osteoarthritis, they could benefit from vitamins and nutrient supplements. Moreover, if their overall health, breed or age mean that they are likely to suffer from any particular illnesses, vitamins can be a very useful tool for prevention.
Vitamins for older dogs
There is a vast range of vitamins and nutrient supplements available on the market which can help your old friend, but the following are notable:
- Minerals: Products containing minerals such as calcium help to keep the bones strong and avoid wear and tear.
- Vitamin D: This is an essential vitamin in order for calcium to correctly fix to the bones, and is highly required in older dogs.
- Algae: Algae-based supplements contain a number of nutrients which help to keep your dog in good health.
- Omega 3: Very useful for dogs with metabolism or blood flow problems.
- Vitamin A: This is an antioxidant vitamin which helps preserve sight and prevents night blindness.
As mentioned, it's important that you let your vet help you to choose the best product for your dog, so that you can help them to keep fit despite their age.
If you want to read similar articles to Vitamins for Older Dogs, we recommend you visit our Geriatrics category.