As our best friends age, muscles atrophy, joints weaken and bones are just not as strong as they once were. All of these things contribute to simple movements becoming increasingly difficult for your aging pooch. Don’t despair. Although we can’t completely turn back the hands of time, there are things we can do to help our canine pals move more easily and confidently so that they may continue to enjoy a great quality of life by our sides.
One thing that may allow your senior dog to more easily get up on the sofa, cuddle in the bed or just get into the car for his trip to the drive-through, dog park, groomer or vet is Gen7 Pet’s Mini-Ramp. I discussed it quite thoroughly in a previous blog and video and showed how it allows your older pet to get a grip on its carpeted surface and feel secure while gradually climbing to his sought-out destination. Lightweight and easy to open, makes helping our dog a breeze, and it can support up to 200 lbs. Products are available on Amazon, Walmart, Chewy and other sites.
If your dog however, needs a bit more of a helping hand, the GingerLead® support and rehabilitation harness could fit the bill. It has a soft padded belly sling with both a leash and handle to help you help older or disabled dog get where he wants to go. I helped Haiku walk with a GingerLead after both of his ACL surgeries, and when my Lady Bonsai was getting frail and weak, it allowed me to get her out for exercise and to answer nature’s call.
What about those dogs who are still strong enough to get up and around on their own, but slip and slide on wood and tiles surfaces?! I have a couple of solutions for you!
Pawz® Natural Rubber Dog Boots are reusable, disposable and waterproof and go on easily to protect paws year round. They allow your dog to feel the ground as if he is bare-pawed. These boots provide great indoor traction as well as protection from rain, snow melt & lawn chemicals as well as hot pavement. In fact, tests have shown that when the pavement is 132 degrees Fahrenheit, it only registers as 107 degrees to a dog wearing a Pawz dog boot! Remember The Pet Safety Crusader’s rule though, if it’s too hot (or cold) for you to stand on it for several minutes barefoot, it is too hot (or cold) for your pet’s paws! The boots however, allow him to get out and do what he needs to do safely. Available in 7 sizes for a Comfortable and Secure Fit, Pawz Boots are 100% biodegradable and can be worn several times before disposing.
Another option would be Dr. Buzby’s ToeGrips® If your older best pal is doing well on rugs or carpeting, but struggles on slippery surfaces such as hardwood floors, ToeGrips® can come to the rescue. These non-slip grips fit on your dog’s toenails to enable instant traction and improved mobility. As your pooch uses his toenails for traction, he flexes his paws and engages the nails like soccer cleats digging into the ground. Hard nails though, cannot grip hard floors, but ToeGrips® can! Once placed on the toenails, ToeGrips® are made for indoor/outdoor use, can be worn constantly, and typically need to be replaced every one to three months
Another huge help to your older dog, or dog of any age however, is to keep their nails properly trimmed. Please refer to this previous blog for details.
Today however, as I continue to talk about ways to increase your senior dog’s mobility, I have two supplements to share, but first…CBD oils seem to be the latest cure-all on the scene. I have been delving into various brands, learning about the different extraction processes and so much more, so stay tuned…I will be sharing my findings with you in just a few weeks!
Fish oil is one of the most important supplements you can give to dogs of any age, but it is a powerhouse for man’s older best friend. In pups, fish oils boost mental development and make their coats shine. Research has even shown that it can help slim down overweight canines, but what are the benefits for your senior pooch?
As dogs get older, just like us, they become more susceptible to illness and injury. Just watching your older fella or lady struggle to get themselves up from the floor with joints sore and weak can be heart-breaking. A dose of fish oil however, can strengthen joins and help your grey muzzled pal to enjoy walks and a more active lifestyle.
Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil are good for just about every part of the body. Research suggests that Omega 3s improve brain activity, eyesight, helps both heart and kidney function, eliminates dry skin and boosts your senior dog’s immune system, but will any fish oil do? The Pet Safety Crusader doesn’t think so. The one my Haiku gets daily is oil from the Hoki, out of the pristine New Zealand waters, and produced by Newflands. You heard me tell the tale of Fiona Robertson in a vlog earlier this year and how, for the love of her Newfoundland dog Rosie, she created the brand. Fiona is all about sustainability and honoring the animals who give to us, so she uses the entire Hoki: oils from the livers, flesh freeze-dried as treats and in a first…the rest is used to make a nutritious gravy. You can find Newflands products on Amazon.
And I will conclude today, with another product from New Zealand…
Deer Velvet, Veterinarian Formula, used to help maintain and support healthy tissue, cartilage and joints in dogs. It is comprises of both New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel and BioActive Deer Velvet, which naturally caused my ears to perk up and want to learn about how it is harvested. I was happy to learn that it is in fact humanly harvested under strict animal welfare and hygiene NZ government standards making it a renewable source. New Zealand Deer & Elk are not subject to Chronic Wasting Disease. No deer are ever harmed in this process. Medicinal uses of the “velvet” of the antler date back more than 2,000 years. Northern Europe and ancient Rome also used antler for a VA is rich in nutrients, containing nearly 40 compounds that have been shown to aid a number of body functions The velvet naturally contains chondroitin, glucosamine, calcium, phosphorus, selenium, potassium, zinc, other trace minerals that can really help our dogs thrive. There are no additional flavorings.
As for the Green Lipped Mussel, it is a shellfish from New Zealand which obtains nutrients directly from the phyto-plankton and minerals in sea water. In all, at least 40 nutrients have been identified in the GLM, including complex proteins, amino acids, nucleic acids, naturally chelated minerals, enzyme and vitamins. It contains glycosaminoglycans, Chondroitin Sulfates, Dermatan Sulfate, Heparan Sulfate, Heparin, Keratan Sulfate, Hyaluronic Acid, and Proteoglycan.
Deer Velvet is recommended for all breeds of dogs to support healthy hip and joint function. Helps to maintain joint agility and alleviate discomfort associated with exercise for senior and arthritic dogs. Dr. Julie Buzby first learned of this joint supplement at the 2017 American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture annual meeting. She spoke at length with her two colleagues who raved about it so cautiously bought four bottles to try. Dr. Buzby gave them to her senior patients suffering from joint pain to see if the claims were true, and she was surprised to see that every single one of them improved, and the owners requested more! Today, nearly every one of her acupuncture patients is on this professional formula deer velvet and doing GRReat!
At 13-years-of-age, my best buddy Haiku is benefiting from all of these products and your pets can too!