Supplements for Senior Dogs
Investigate dog supplements to see what they can offer your senior dog.
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Vitamin C: Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C performs numerous tasks. It scavenges free-radicals as an antioxidant; helps in every stage of collagen production; supports drug, steroid, and amino acid metabolism; and assists vitamin Es functions.
Recent research has focused on vitamin Cs potential role in immune function and the treatment not just the prevention of diseases, especially those involving infection, inflammation, and cancer.
Brewers yeast: This key component of beer is a rich source of minerals (such as chromium), protein, the antioxidant selenium, and B-complex vitamins (except B-12). Its often combined in tablet form with other ingredients, such as omega-3 fatty acids or garlic. Brewers yeast should not be used in dogs being treated with certain drugs, such as monoamine oxidase inhibitors, Walters says, so check with your vet first.
Linoleic acid: An essential fatty acid used by the body to make other fatty acids, linoleic acid supports good coat and skin quality, normal growth, and proper membrane structure. Animals cannot synthesize this omega-6 fatty acid on their own, so it must be supplied within the diet. One form is gamma linoleic acid (or GLA), found in borage oil, black currant oil, and evening primrose oil. Another is alpha linoleic acid (ALA), found in flax, flax oil, and linseed oil. Corn and sunflower oils are also good sources; capsules often combine a variety of oils with vitamin E.
Bromelain: This enzyme, often found in pineapples, aids proper protein digestion and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Glycerin: Also known as glycerol, this drug is used to treat acute glaucoma, Walters says.
Giving Supplements To Your Dog
If supplementation is right for your senior dog, the key is to find a form he tolerates. You can find many of the vital nutrients in enhanced foods formulated for older dogs. This makes giving your dog supplements as simple as dishing food out at mealtime. Glucosamine and chondroitin are available in liquids, tablets, and injectable forms. They also come in tasty treats and powders you sprinkle on your dogs food. Vitamins B-12, E, and C come in tablets, while B-12 is also injectable. Vitamin E and linoleic acid are also found in oils poured directly over food, or in capsules that can either be given whole or punctured and squeezed onto the food. Many companies make all-in-one supplements that you either drizzle over food or feed directly to your dog.
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