Caring For My Older Dog

As dogs age they need a little more tender loving care! Here are some tips that I really help all dog owners own the responsibility of an aging pet.

A Dogs Teeth Are Important!

Regular dental care is important throughout your pet’s life but especially for seniors. Dr. Fred Metzger, veterinarian and contributor to the Caring For Your Senior Dog report, says, “older dogs and cats with neglected teeth are time bombs ticking.” The report explains how tartar build up can cause gingivitis, which can cause bacteria to get into the bloodstream, wreaking havoc on your dog’s organs.

A great way to contribute to your senior dog’s good health is to keep his teeth and gums in tip top shape with regular at-home brushing and yearly professional cleanings by your vet.

As they age, our dogs need our care and attention even more. It’s up to us to monitor their health and take measures to keep our pets as healthy and happy as possible in their senior years.

Make Sure to See The Vet

Take your dog in for a vet checkup at least twice a year. Just as elderly people need to be aware of health issues and visit their doctors more often, aging pets benefit from more frequent visits. Older pets may need additional blood tests, dental care and examinations. Additionally, many breeds have predispositions toward certain ailments, including arthritis, hip dysplasia, cancer and diabetes.

Early detection can help catch these before they become major problems.

Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition for older dogs!

Mature dogs often have food issues, including problems chewing, lack of appetite, obesity and digestive difficulties. Consult with your vet on the best diet and exercise plan for your aging dog. Dietary changes may include adding more fiber to aid with digestion or decreasing carbohydrates to maintain optimal weight. Supplements such as fish oil or glucosamine can be added to alleviate joint pain

Exercise and Weight and How They Have Helped My Dog

Mature dogs often have food issues, including problems chewing, lack of appetite, obesity and digestive difficulties. Consult with your vet on the best diet and exercise plan for your aging dog. Dietary changes may include adding more fiber to aid with digestion or decreasing carbohydrates to maintain optimal weight. Supplements such as fish oil or glucosamine can be added to alleviate joint pain.

Mental Stimulation:

Like people, aging dogs experience pain and have difficulty performing physical activities they used to enjoy. However, exercise continues to be imperative to their health and well being. Take your dog on short, gentle walks and monitor his/her breathing and gait to make sure nothing is amiss. Your dog’s brain needs plenty of exercise as well. Stimulating toys such as food puzzles help keep your dog sharp.

Make Your House Safer :

Just as you once puppy-proofed your home, you now need to provide your older dog with special accommodations. For dogs with hip dysplasia or joint issues, consider a special ramp or stairs so they can still get in the car or join you on the bed. Keep food and water in areas they can easily reach, especially if they are vision-impaired. Heated beds can soothe achy joints, particularly if you live in a colder climate. Finally, non-slip surfaces will prevent falls and help your older pet maintain traction when rising

CBD OIL

Intro

So this is is a question I have been asking myself quite a it about.  The reason being is that my tripod (the word we use for three legged dogs) has been in a little more pain than normal.  How can I tell?  Well, he seems more sensitive to certain areas when I massage him.  For tripods, massaging is essential as there quite a bit more forces going through their body.

What is it?

So for this quick blog sesh, I’m just going to go over what I have been looking at.  First of all, what is CBD oil?  The oil is derived from the hemp plant where cannaboids are derived.  Now, to be frank this is NOT the compound that causes the high sensation or the psychoactive component from marijuana.  This is on the other side and deals more with inflammation and pain management.

Two Versions

So there are two versions of the CBD oil that seems to be everyone buys.  The two are the full spectrum version or the broad spectrum.  For both spectrums, a small amount of THC is present – this is the main psychoactive and high component of marijuana.  The small amount is not designed to get your dog high, but is instead designed to activate the endo-cannaboid system that will cause a stronger effect from the CBD components. 

Digestive Stimulation

So how does it work?  Well, the endocannabinoid system is like a messenger system in your dog and it plays a vital role in regulating certain hormones and certain aspects of the nervous system.  Some of the areas it helps with include the endocrine system (hormone), digestive system, nervous system and immune system.  It helps stimulate all those areas and this is why it has the powerful benefits of de-inflaming the system, pain management and increased digestive health. 

Can my dog eat eggs? Can they eat carrots? Are human foods okay for dogs?

Can a dog eat eggs?  How about eating oranges?  Can a dog eat carrots?  Are human foods okay for dogs?

Intro

These are all questions that new pet owners ask.  And, it’s with good reason that people should be asking those questions.

Having domesticated dogs as part of the family has deep roots with our ancestors. In fact, the oldest dated “dog” was found buried with his master over 14,000 years ago!  What!  That’s insane and incredible. ( Btw, the link to the article is here.

That’s pretty amazing.  But, whats even more amazing is how the diet of dogs have evolved to eat what we eat.  Now, dog food that it’s specifically formulated for them is probably better for them.

But, they can still eat things like eggs and certain vegetables for example spinach and carrots and potatoes these are starchy root vegetables they actually you know dig up and eat. 

Also, fruits including berries many wolves still eat berries and they actually can eat certain types of fruit including oranges tangerine certain citrus fruits can be incorporated into their diet.

Dogs differ from cats

Whata interesting is that it’s kind of different from cats, cats can only eat certain types of you know meats and fats and really can’t eat citrus related fruit. So, dogs can eat quite a bit more variety than what we would be able to feed our pet cats.

So, with that being said it’s okay to feed your dog, eggs, potatoes, carrots, peas all these are fruits and vegetables that we normally eat you can go ahead and feed and you should be fine. 

You know dogs are meant to eat now what we kind of eat. They actually have certain enzymes in them that allow them to go ahead and process these nutrient dense foods.

List of foods that are safe (this list will be updated continuously!)

So here’s what everybody is waiting for.  Here’s a list of foods that are appropriate for you for legged friend.  

This list was provided by medical news today.

Carrots

Carrots are wonderful for dogs.  One of the most healthful benefits is that carrots help clean their teeth by scraping and cleaning in a natural way.  Carrots are also really crunchy and give a nice crunchy texture to the dogs.  They are also low in calories and shouldn’t cause too high of an insulin spike.  

The only concern is that carrots have a good amount of vitamin A which can be great for a dogs coat giving it a nice healthy, shiny sheen.  Also it is beneficial to the dogs immune system.  

Too much though can be toxic to a dogs health so carrots should be fed in moderation.

Apples

Apples are also great for dogs and guess what?  They love them!  Well, my dog any way.  

Some of the benefits are that the apples provide vitamins A and C.  

Also the pectin in apples provide an amazing source of fiber.  The fiber provides a great way for dogs to regulate their digestion.

There is a little bit of a danger though in that rotting apples can ferment into alcohol and alcohol can poison dogs, so be aware of how old those apples are!

White rice

How about cooked white rice?  Its actually a pretty good option especially when dogs have upset stomachs.  Why?  Well, cooked white rice is very bland and it helps provide bulk for the stool.  It helps dogs pass food along their digestive tract.  

There is a little danger though in that it can cause diabetes if given too much and often enough.  The reason being that the it can cause insulin spikes are high level of blood sugar.  

So keep the rice handy for when your little ones are sick but stay away from regularly feeding them rice.

Dairy products

A lot of people wonder if their dogs can eat dairy.  I’m one of them!  And to be honest, it is safe if a very small amount is given.  So things such as cheese, plain yogurt are safe because one they have been fermented and two the lactose sugars have been dissolved.  

Still, some of these products can still have lactose, the sugar that requires the enzyme lactase and most dogs do not have high levels of the enzy,.

Aslo, some dogs have extremely low levels of lactase and are considered lactose intolerant (like many of us humans!) and this can cause extreme digestive issues – anybody know the song to diahrrea?  Well, you might be seeing a little of that!

Fish

Fish rock!  And they rock for dogs!  All the norms can be given to dogs including 

salmon, tuna, shrimp, bass, trout –  are all safe for dogs to eat and good sources of protein.  Surprisingly, shrimp is also fine for you dog as long it is cooked!  It needs to be cooked in order makesure the bacteria that is naturally present in shellfish is killed.  In fact, your little mutt can get something called shellfish toxicity if it isn’t cooked so make sure those dang things are cooked!  

Now the fishes contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and those can really help with providing low levels of imflammaion and also provide that amazing coat.  Also, don’t be shy about giving your dog some of that crispy skin as that is where a lot of those omegas are loaded.

Some other benefits include high vitamin B levels which can help your pups digestive system and give them that healthy shiny coat!  Are you starting to see a trend here?  Good food means good skin and coat health.  

Chicken

So how about chicken?  Yes!  Its ultra healthy for your dog!  The dark and white meat are both considered safe, but the dark meat is probably better in that it has higher levels of blood and fat which is essential for a pups health.

Chicken can also be substituted and can be used as a topper of for you pets food.  So go ahead and let you dog have it – I know my dog will drool a puddle just getting a whiff of it cooking in the oven.

Since chicken is relatively easy to digest its also considered a safe option for your pooches upset stomach.  When providing cooked chicken make sure that the salt content is low and there isn’t any seasonings.

Peanut butter

How about peanut butter?  

Well of course!  In fact peanut butter contains many healthful benefits including healthy fats and proteins.  Also, vitamins E and B are combined with niacin.  Just be careful!  Reason being that peanut butter that isn’t all natural contains added sugars and sweeteners and those are no-nos for you dog!

What Is The Best Dog Food For My Dog AND cat food for my cat!

So what Pet Food Is The Best To Buy?

First of all – great question!  And we also want to say thank you for visiting the family pet club as we explore what we find to be the best for everyone’s pooch! 

Speaking of pooches,my dog Trooper had a little problem with his poop the other day.  As we all know, as owners of pooches there is a real problem for your whole family if your dogs poop turns the nasty black.  The reason this is so scary is because it can mean that your pet (either dog or cat) might have internal bleeding.  Can you imagine the scare?  

By the way heres a picture of my dog troop.  Isn’t he adorable!  But, what came as a shock to us (my family) is that we had one of the highest rated foods on the market.  My question was, did his dog food somehow damage my dogs health?  For example did it cause black stool?  Well, what we found out was that our pooch may have been extremely dehydrated.  

 

So what food did we go out and grab? This may be the best pet food topper for me and you.

 

It was the Meal Mixers from Stella and Chewys.  You have got to hand it to Stella and Chewys, they seem to be everywhere and seem to have tons of different foods! Here’s a link to their site (no, it is NOT an affiliate site) but you can see what they are up to. I know! ITS pretty snazzy! Still the official product we bought was:

The beef meal from Stella and Chewy's product line.
Stella and Chewys

So this food is dehydrated but on the taste factor its as good as can food. My dog really loves this food and will actually come up to me fifteen minutes before his normal dinner time and start “nudging me” – yes, how cute! But, will nudge until he gets his food! So his love of this food is great. In fact if I were to rate this food I’d give 4 out of 5 stars.

Why 4 out of 5? Well, in terms of pet food one of the big things I look for are foods that won’t hurt my pets. And, while I believe it is somewhat user error, but its also somewhat on the company for not explicitly telling people to rehyrdate the food.

So, going back to the previous point – remember when I talked about my dogs poop? Well, guess what happened when my dogs food was hydrated. His stool got magically better!

That’s right! So, there probably was some correlation between the dog food and the poop. So what guidelines did we end up using to rehydrate?

Super simple. All you do is fill the food in a cup (about 1/2 cups worth for my dog – it might be more of less depending on the weight) and then add as much water as you did the food – so this again would have been 1/2 cup.

After this, my dog seems a whole lot better. I wonder if there fact that they food is severely dehydrated can also pull moisture from the intestines and the digestive tract? Not sure, but something definitely felt fishy.

I believe we’re going to go back onto wet can food for a bit to make sure he’s completely get hydrated and then we’ll give these another go. Next time though we’ll make sure to add the water.

So what flavor are we going to get? Not sure but here are the different ones for dog toppers:

First of 4 flavor
Last 3 flavors for Stella’s and Chewy

So there you have it. Well probably try the salmon flavored one as Trooper tolerates that one the best.

Well hope you can find some comfort in this for and hopefully your pooch will love you for it!

And now for cats!

The Best Dry Cat Food: Purina Beyond Grain Free, Natural, Adult Dry Cat Food

 

Purina beyond grain free dry cat food

 

Key Features:

  • Grain free, with real ocean whitefish as the first ingredient
  • Made without corn, wheat, soy or artificial colors or preservatives
  • The dry food is produced at in-house facilities and formulas created by nutritionists.

Overview:

This dry cat food was chosen because of the lack of grains, and primary ingredients being fish and chicken. Cats are carnivores, so it’s especially important to ensure they’re getting enough animal-based protein to sustain them, and Purina’s Beyond food fits that need. The other main consideration is that this dry cat food contains no grains or soy, which cats can be sensitive to.

The kibble can be larger than other companies, so be cautious if you have a small cat or when you’re initially letting your cat try the food. The other grain-free flavor is White Meat Chicken.

Price Point:

$32 for an 11lb bag

 

The Best Wet Cat Food: Sheba Perfect Portions Pate Wet Cat Food Trays

Sheba perfect portions wet cat food

Key Features:

  • Super convenient packaging with one serving per container
  • All include real protein, plus vitamins and minerals
  • Variety of flavors, including beef, chicken, chicken & liver, chicken & tuna, turkey, or poultry

Overview:

Sheba has made a great option for people who want to serve their cat’s healthy wet food without the messy cleanup. Each package is easy to open and pre-portioned for a single serving, so there’s no leftovers and less chance any extra food gets wasted or goes bad. These pates are made without grain, corn, soy or wheat as well which is great for cats with sensitivities!

While they’re a bit pricier than most dry cat foods, wet food can also easily be mixed into dry for added nutrition. If you have an older cat who needs an appetite boost or need an option for cats with any oral discomforts, try this wet food.

Price Point:

$22 for 24 (2.6 oz. Twin-Pack Trays)

The Best Kitten Food: Instinct Original Kitten Grain Free Recipe with Real Chicken Natural Dry Cat Food by Nature’s Variety

 

best dry kitten food InstinctKey Features:

  • Made of cage-free chicken, vegetables, fruits, and nutritious oils
  • 0% Grain, corn, wheat, soy or potato
  • Each piece of kibble has a freeze-dried raw coating on it for extra nutrition and delicious taste

Overview:

Buying kitten food is an important decision and it’s essential to choose a kitty food with a lot of protein and nutrition for healthy growth. We chose Nature’s Variety’s Kitten food because chicken is the #1 ingredients and this formula has cut out ingredients that are typical for pet intolerances such as grain, soy, and wheat. You can either feed this kibble dry to kittens if they’re old enough to eat it straight, mix some dry kibble with a portion of wet food or mix the dry kibble with water to soften the bites.

Since the kibble is coated in freeze-dried raw, make sure you wash your hands after handling to ensure cleanliness.

Price Point:

$24 for a 4.5lb bag

 

The Best Affordable Cat Food: Rachael Ray Nutrish Indoor Complete Natural Dry Cat Food, Chicken With Lentils & Salmon Recipe

 

Nutrish dry cat food for indoor cats

Key Features:

  • Number one ingredient is real chicken plus real salmon
  • Includes lentils, blueberries, cranberries, and pumpkin for fiber and antioxidants
  • Does contain gluten and corn. Does not list soy as an ingredient.

Overview:

This cat food was chosen as the best affordable option because while it does contain gluten and corn, the main ingredient is still chicken and the overall mix of ingredients contain a good combination of nutrients that help keep cats healthy. If your cat has allergies this might not be the best option, but there were many positive reviews of this dry food helping cat’s with smelly bowel movements and helping to ease cat’s sensitive stomachs.

Price Point:

$19 for a 14lb bag.

 

Updated August 23d