Disclaimer: This post contains anecdotes from my experiences as a dog owner. It is not intended to replace your veterinarian’s advice. Please consult your veterinarian if your dog exhibits health problems, and ask your vet before giving your dog any supplements or medication. I am not affiliated with the companies whose products I mention.
As a teacher who cares for many rescue animals, it’s important to me to find budget-friendly health solutions. Here are my top three products for senior dogs. Be sure to consult your veterinarian before giving your dog any supplements or medications.
1. Cataracts/general health: I had a beautiful German Shepherd, but as she got older she suffered from some common ailments. Her eyes became clouded by cataracts, and she became quite stiff. Eventually, she had a hard time even getting up from her bed.
Fortunately, I found the Springtime company. They make natural supplements for dogs, horses and people. I decided to try Fresh Factors®, which they describe as “Our best selling chewable for dogs of all ages. Fresh Factors supports healthy joints, skin, digestion, and energy levels.” These tablets are affordable (click to view product and order, they are under 20 cents apiece, price depends on quantity).
My Shepherd happily ate the Fresh Factors tablets. In just a few weeks, she was moving more easily. Be sure to consult your vet first and follow dosage recommendations. Most amazing of all, and to my vet’s shock, after three months of Fresh Factors my dog’s cataracts disappeared. No one can guarantee such an incredible result, but Fresh Factors vastly improved my German Shepherd’s last years.
2. Itchy skin: Some breeds seem more prone to skin problems than others. We have an older Beagle that our family found as a stray. She is sweet and well-behaved, but she had one habit that drove me to distraction- she would rub her back constantly on a chair rung. It got to the point where she rubbed most of the fur off of an area near her tail. At first, I thought fleas were causing the problem. I used flea baths, drops, and sprayed her bedding. This did not solve the problem.
Then, I recalled an old-time remedy for skin health: Brewer’s yeast. You can purchase Brewer’s Yeast inexpensively as a tablet or as a powder, Thomas Labs is one source. This worked wonders for our Beagle, she doesn’t rub on chairs anymore. Her fur has grown back, and she is more content. Be sure to consult your vet first and then follow dosage recommendations. PLEASE NOTE: BREWER’S YEAST MAY BE HARMFUL TO DIABETIC DOGS, CONSULT YOUR VETERINARIAN FIRST.
3. Arthritis: Many dogs, like people, suffer from stiffness and joint pain as they get older. If you start giving your dog a high quality glucosamine supplement at the first sign of trouble, in my experience you can keep them moving better as they age. One excellent product is Cosequin Maximum Strength Joint Supplement Plus MSM — With Glucosamine and Chondroitin. Be sure to consult your vet first and then follow dosage recommendations.
Sadly, our beloved canine companions don’t live as long as we do. However, we can improve their senior years by being observant, consulting with our veterinarians, and adding appropriate supplements to their routines.