Tag Archives: senior dog

Do pets need vitamins & supplements?

Dog and hand with pill isolated over white.A growing number of pet vitamins and supplements are entering the market.  While many humans have been quick to use over- the-counter nutritional products, are similar vitamins and supplements a good idea for your pet?  Not really – but with some exceptions.

Most pets should get all the necessary vitamins and nutrition they need from their FOOD.  You are better off spending more money on a

HIGH QUALITY dog or cat food — that provides a good source of protein, calories and nutrients – than you are trying to supplement a poor quality food.  So instead of considering vitamins and supplements, start by rethinking your choice of dog or cat food.

At the same time, there are SOME PETS who WOULD benefit from vitamins and supplements:  (AS ALWAYS, CONSULT  YOUR VETERINARIAN.)

Puppies  

If you have a new puppy, it’s important o make sure he or she is getting all the vitamins and nutrition needed to grow at this stage of life.

Senior / geriatric dogs and cats*

For aging pets – who often experience joint pain and reduced mobility – supplements can make getting around easier.  Consider over-the-counter supplements like glucosamine / chondroitin.  Both can help lubricate joints to help your pet move more freely.

*NOTE – Cats are typically considered senior by age 10-12.  For dogs, this designation can vary based on SIZE.  Larger dogs are considered senior much earlier than small dogs.

Underweight pets

For pets that have been compromised and need to put on weight, high calorie supplements can help.  Such pets include those with chronic illnesses and those who are shelter or rescue pets that have come from circumstances in which they were not getting enough nutrition.  If your pet needs to put on weight, vitamins can help keep nutrients at healthy levels while your pet regains his or her strength and vitality.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  If your dog or cat is losing weight, see your veterinarian immediately to determine why.  Weight loss is a sign of many common illnesses and conditions that can be easily managed if caught early.

Pets with digestive problems

If your dog or cat suffers from conditions such as frequent vomiting, diarrhea or loss of appetite, your pet may benefit from certain supplements, however it’s important to first determine the underlying cause of any of these symptoms.

Lactating females

Nursing dogs and cats often lose nutrients to their offspring.  Consider switching them to PUPPY FOOD for extra nutrients and also consider giving them vitamins.

AS ALWAYS, CONSULT WITH YOUR VETERINARIAN ABOUT YOUR PET’S OVERALL HEALTH AND WELLBEING.

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Dry foods help reduce dental disease in dogs

Dog eating food

Dog owners always have question about whether to feed their pet dry or canned foods.  This can be a daunting decision, given the number of both dry and canned foods.

High quality dry foods can easily meet the nutritional requirements of most dogs.  You will want to check labels for the amount of meat-based proteins the food contains versus grains.  Higher priced dry foods will tend to contain more meat-based proteins than their lower-priced competitors.

The added benefit of dry food is that chewing on it reduces the buildup of plaque and tarter on your dog’s teeth.  Dogs that eat only a wet or canned diet are more prone to dental disease if the diet is not balanced with treats and toys for chewing.  Some dogs – if raised on only canned food – will refuse to eat dry food at all – so it’s important to start your dog early on at least a partial dry diet.  In many cases, we suggest waiting until the dog is of senior age before giving a preponderance of canned foods.

NOTE: The above does NOT pertain to cats who have different nutritional needs.  See other blogs on cat nutrition.

AS ALWAYS, CONSULT WITH YOUR VETERINARIAN ABOUT YOUR PET’S OVERALL HEALTH AND WELLBEING.

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