Five Supplements for Senior Dogs Part 2 of 5

(Even though this article is written with dogs in mind, Enzymes can be very beneficial for cats as well).  

As your dog ages, their body starts to fail. They won’t get as much nutrition out of his food. Their liver won’t be able to push out as many toxins. And their brain will begin to slow down. That’s why senior dogs need a boost as they age. It helps them to get what they need to live a healthy and comfortable life. 

So, let’s look at 5 important supplements you should consider giving your senior dog.

Prebiotics and ProbioticsDigestive EnzymesAntioxidantsVitamin COmega 3 Fats

Digestive Enzymes 
Digestive enzymes help break down food so that your dog can better absorb nutrients from it. While dogs produce digestive enzymes naturally, as they age, production slows. That’s why senior dogs are more likely to have enzyme deficiencies, which affect:

The immune system Detoxification Hormones Gallbladder function Digestion Pancreas

If your dog eats cooked foods, he’s even more at risk for a deficiency. That’s because heat kills enzymes. And this lack of enzymes can lower resistance to stress and enlarge the pancreas and smaller organs, including the brain. If you dog has pancreatitis, put enzymes in his for 15 minutes before he eats. Answers Pet Food can also be fed to dogs with pancreatitis. If your senior dog has an enzyme deficiency he will burp and fart, regurgitate undigested food and have abnormal bowel movements. 

Other Symptoms of Digestive Enzyme Deficiency
BloatingSmelly breathAcid refluxTummy rumbling or gurglingAbdominal pain or crampingFoul-smelling stoolsUndigested food in stool

How To Give Your Dog Digestive Enzymes 
You can feed your dog enzyme-rich foods to increase his enzyme intake. Fermented veggies, ginger, bananas and honey are all good choices. But like pre and probiotics, supplements can be a convenient way to add digestive enzymes to your dog’s diet. 

When buying a supplement for your senior dog, you want to buy a product made for dogs. That’s because dogs have different enzyme needs than humans. Also, try and find a product that contains pancreas. Pancreas is rich in important enzymes and may even help your dog’s body produce more of its own. 

Other Ingredients to Look For

Papain – breaks down meat.Bromelain – breaks down protein.Betaine hydrochloric acid – breaks down protein.Cellulase – breaks down fiber.Invertase (in yeast and pollen) – breaks down starchy carbs.Ox Bile – breaks down fat.  It’s best to give your dog enzymes with his meals. If it helps, you can add water or broth to the supplement. But never put digestive enzymes on hot food as this will kill them. 

Some Enzymes that we carry:

Answers Pet Food and their fermented milks and stocks contain enzymes and probiotics from fermentation. Their food line is fermented so also has enzymes.

Healthline EnzymesAnimal Essential – A plant enzyme and probiotics If you have any nutritional questions, please feel free to reach out and contact me or Deana.  

Next article we will talk about Antioxidants  
Disclaimer –  Kristina McLeskey is not a Veterinarian. These are just general guidelines. If you have any concerns about your pet’s health, please see your veterinarian. 

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