*Disclaimer* This information is in no way intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.
**UPDATE- some reason this post was deleted from my blog, so I am reposting. Sadly since the first post of this blog, Daisy has crossed the Rainbow Bridge**
Diet: As your dog ages, his/her diet needs will change. He/She may become less active, weight gain is always a concern with older dogs. Extra weight can cause tremendous issues on old bones and joints. Making my sure my dog’s diet is clean and nutrient dense is extremely important to me. It also helps me manage her allergies. I have been making her food for the past 7 or 8 years, with great success. Be sure to speak to your vet before making any changes to your dog’s diet.
- Bone broth. This has been the key to encourage my girl to eat some days. And so easy to do. I usually give Daisy about a cup of warm bone broth every morning with her breakfast.
- Steamed veggies. A great source of vitamins and minerals. Steaming them is best for older dogs, because it aids in easy digestion.
- Organ meats. Be sure they are from grass-feed, antibiotic free animals. Organ meats are the most nutrient dense part of any animal. Again with older dogs, it’s best to boil the organs before they eat them, unless your dog has been on a RAW diet all along.
- Wild Game: A great addition to a dog’s diet at any age. Most wild game, depending where it is hunted/fished will be the cleanest source of proteins and healthy fats you can feed your dog (and yourself). Again, the organ meats from wild game is a great additions.
- Collagen and Gelatin. I use Collagen every day in my coffee, “healthy” lattes or smoothies. I also using it in Daisy’s dog food. Collagen and gelatin helps maintain healthy joints, tissue, skin and can aid in skin allergies. Collagen can be given at any stage of a dog’s life, and the sooner it’s given, the better. My favorite brand is Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides and Vital Proteins Gelatin
- Grain free foods. Dogs were not designed to consume grains. Just like humans, grains can cause inflammation in a dog’s body. This can be especially harmful in an aging dog that may have arthritis. Many times grains can cause itchy skin and yeasty ears. This is the case for my girl. For most of her life, I have either made her food or choose a grain-free dog food.
- Turmeric Paste aka Golden Paste: Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant, an effective anti-inflammatory, can help prevent and even treat cancer and protects the liver from toxins, along with many other benefits. Here’s a link to the recipe I use Turmeric Golden Paste for Dogs
Herbs: Herbs are a great way to assist in supporting your aging friend. A group of herb known as Adaptogens, which are a diverse group of plants that contain substances that help the body adapt to various life stress. Some examples of adaptogens are Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, Schizandra, Siberian Ginseng, a variety of mushrooms, and many others. Again be sure to do your research before giving you pet any herbal supplements. I would strongly suggest working with a Holistic Veterinarian or a veterinarian that is trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Cannabis Oil: I was never a strong believer in the healing power of cannabis oil, until I has suffered extreme flank pain. I thought it was kidney stones, I had x-rays, MRI, blood test, chiropractic adjustments, nothing helped. I did not want to take pain killers or antibiotics, because the source of the pain was unknown. So I tried cannabis oils. My pain went from a 10 plus, to a 2 within the matter of 15 minutes. Since this worked so well for me, I thought it would help Daisy and began researching it. I have used it in small doses when her pain is really bad. Since her mobility has declined dramatically over the past several weeks, I’ve been using it on a regular basis, with great success. Be sure to be working with your veterinarian before giving your dog cannabis oil. This is a great article explaining the use of cannabis oil on dogs Cannabis Oil for Dogs: Everything You Need to Know . And this article list places to purchase cannabis oil, along with another great explanation of how it works Cannabis For Your Dog: How it Can Help.
Epsom Salt Baths: I added Epsom Salt baths to this part of the series, because magnesium is a mineral that is missing from not only our pet’s diet, but ours as well. A great way to get magnesium into the body is through Epsom Salt. Epsom Salt baths are just as beneficial for your dog, as it is for you. When Epson Salt is added to water, it breaks down to magnesium and sulfate, which is absorb into the body via the skin. Epsom Salt Baths aid in arthritis pain, swelling, sore muscle and helps cleanse and soften the fur.
Some dogs, won’t be so excited for this one. However my girl doesn’t mind taking baths. Be sure the water is warm and the tub full enough so that the water covers most of your dog. Allow your dog to soak 10-15 minutes.
For Small Dogs under 10 lbs: 1/4-1/2 cup of Epsom salt
For Dogs 10 lbs-40 lb: 1/2 cup-1 cup of Epsom Salt
For dog over 40 lbs: 1-2 cups of Epsom Salt
Rescue Remedy: Is a liquid of flower essences that can be given to your dog, via a dropper into the mouth, in your dog’s water, applied to their gums or even rubbed on their paws. The most common brand is Bach’s Original Flower Remedies. Bach’s brand contains the essences of 5 different beneficial flowers. It assists with their emotional support and is helpful for dogs that are hypersensitive, fearful and have a hard time adjusting to new situations. I’m not sure how helpful this has been for Daisy? I haven’t seen a dramatic change in her behavior during stressful situations, but each animal is different. You might find this very helpful for your pet. I know when I was the kennel manager at a Humane Society, we used in every dogs water. I found with some dogs it was super helpful, while others it had no effect on them. For more information: Rescue Remedy for Pets
Check out my other post in this series. Supporting Your Aging Dog: Body Work Modalities and Supporting Your Aging Dog: Using Essential Oils