Our dogs can live a long, happy life if they are properly cared for.  Preventative measures mean not only a better quality life for our canine friends, but it can also help cut down on veterinarian expenses.  Conditions that affect us as we age can also result in older dog health problems, such as cancer, arthritis, and cataracts. Monitoring your dog’s energy can tell you a lot about how your dog is feeling. Things to look for include:

  • Obesity
  • Depression
  • Poor quality diet
  • Diabetes
  • Lack of nutritional support
  • Liver issues

So what does my dog need to be in the best health possible?


  • Regular vet care –  preventative measures can make an illness easier to treat
  • Exercise! – Help maintain  your dog’s weight and health and is a good time to just hang out with your dog
  • High-quality dog food – the benefits to your dog’s health are significant and include a good weight, a healthy heart, and a longer life
  • Natural nutritional supplements


Medicinal drugs can have side effects that can be harmful. Natural supplements, on the other hand, have fewer side effects and can fight disease and improve health. Many supplements are known to benefit a dogs’ health.


What Can Supplements Help Your Older Dog With?animal-dog-pet-sad-large

  • Prevent obesity
  • Manage arthritis
  • Fights allergies
  • Improves digestion
  • Reduces gas
  • Corrects itchy skin
  • Supports a healthy immune system
  • Improves energy
  • Reduces stress

A pretty impressive list, don’t you think?  You may think that your older dog gets all the nutrition that he needs from his food, but too often that is not the case. Many commercial dog foods available barely meet the minimum standards to be considered a healthy food. For a dog whose diet consists a lower quality food, the intake of vitamins and minerals would be insufficient and his health would be less that optimal.


What Supplements Will Help My Dog?

  • Coconut oil – My personal favorite, coconut oil contains lauric acid which fights viruses and bacteria and even has cancer preventing properties. Dosing can start at 1/4 tsp daily and gradually increase to 1 tsp per day per 10 lbs of weight
  • Olive Oil – Helps with cognitive functions, healthier skin, and coat and supports the immune system. Olive Oil can be mixed with the dog’s food,  beginning with 1/4 tsp and increasing to 1/2 tsp per 20 lbs
  • Curcumin – Improves brain power, joint health and has anti-cancer properties. Comes in a small concentrated supplement that can be mixed with food. Start with 5 mg per 20 lbs of weight and gradually increase to 20 mg per 20 lbs
  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin – Relieves pain in arthritic dogs and improves joint health. Superior support for the bones of older dogs or dogs that are prone to hip dysplasia. Consult dosing instructions on bottle as different concentrations are available
  • Vitamin C – Prevents urinary tract infections, promotes healing and bone health.  Not  to be given to dogs that have, or are at risk for, oxalate bladder stones.  Can give 625 mg daily to small dogs,  2,500 mg for medium sized dogs and 5,000 mg daily for dogs that weigh over 100 lbs
  • Fiber– Supports a healthy digestive and elimination system which in turn promotes better absorption of nutrients. Dogs can safely take Metamucil, a powdered fiber.  For small dogs, mix 1/2 tsp into their food or water twice daily and 2 tsp for larger dogs, twice daily.


Now that we know how to enhance the health of our older dogs, we know what  actions that we can take to help them live longer lives and to  reduce  vet bills.  I appreciate all comments and please feel free to ask any questions that you may have or share your experiences with the health of your older dog.


10 comments on “Older Dog Health Problems: 6 Secrets That You Should Know

  • Wow! Great information, we have a little jack Russell terrier. My husband really spoils him with meats, but then he doesn’t go near dry food. How would you suggest we get him to eat his dry food? It’s one of the better products from the pet shop.

    I have to say the human foods you list here, first time I’ve seen them and we have all these things at home.

    • Hi Jagi, Whenever you make a change to a dog’s food, you want to do it slowly. So I would mix a small amount of the new food in with the old to let your dog get used to it. You should gradually increase the new food until it is just the new food that your dog is eating. You always want to make a gradual change to avoid any digestive upsets,

      Hope this helps!


  • Thanks for sharing this article. I don’t have a dog but it’s interesting to know that pets also need supplements just like us. How do we feed our pets supplements? I’ve never tried that before when I had cats. Do you have to crush the pills and mix it into their food?

    • Hi Yvonne, great question! My dogs are both on daily medication and I give them their pills in a bit of peanut butter on a spoon. They love the taste and it is thick enough to secure the pill so that you know they have ingested it They are pretty funny girls – I can show them the jar of peanut butter and they come running to get their treat! I occasionally switch it up and use canned pumpkin instead of peanut butter. It has less calories and is also an aid if your dog is constipated. Pumpkin is not as thick as peanut butter, so you will want to watch to make sure that the pill(s) is ingested. I always hold my other hand under the hand holding the spoon to catch any spills.

      Take Care,

  • I have both my dogs on a pet plan and they get regular doctor check ups and are up-to-date with all vaccines, etc. I also fee them high quality dog food. Some say I spoil them, but they are healthy and happy. BUT I never really thought about supplements. I think this is a great idea. I have one dog that is 8 now, and he has all of a sudden gotten some pretty good allergies going. I take back to the doctor one a month just for allergies. I am going to look into supplements. Sounds like a great solution!

    • Hey Matt’s Mom, I think you should check out this post that I did I have a dog that is prone to itchy skin and the other dog has gotten very gassy. and I think that ScuffyPet is just the thing that they need. I use probiotics myself and now how much they help regulate my system. ScruffyDog has both probiotics and the nutritional support that older dogs need. It seems like such a value when you look at all that is does.

      Take Care,


  • Hi, Erin… Great post! I like the recommendation of the supplementary nutrition required to ensure a good health for older dogs. However, I wonder how I can incorporate those supplements to their usual meal intakes? And you also mentioned about good quality dog food but it’s hard to find one from those commercial dog food out there… So may I know what are the products you would recommend for dog food? Looking forward to your enlightenment. Have a nice day~

    • Hi Kiev, I give medications to both of my dogs and I use some peanut butter on a spoon to give it to them. They love the taste and I know they have taken the pill. I will mix it up a bit and used canned pumpkin too. This is great for constipation also. If you are giving your dogs a loose powdered supplement, it can also be mixed with either the pumpkin or peanut butter. The best food for your pet is any food made by Wysong as they are of superior quality and are both holistic and healthy for your dog. Please check out an earlier post of mine:

      Take Care,


  • This great information for people that have any older dog. I have a 10 yr old puginess and this would help me keep him healthier. I am always looking for different things so i don’t actually have to give him medicine. These are some ideas to try. Thank you for the helpful information.

    • Hi Heidi, keeping our older pets in better health not only helps ensure a better quality of life for them it also helps keep the vet bills low. I agree with you about not giving an older dog medicines, if at all possible, My Beagle developed an issue with incontinence and the medicine the vet prescribed made her very restless. Poor girl was pacing constantly when I gave her the medication when she should have been sleeping! A bit of research and I found a good, holistic alternative that works well and does not make her restless.   

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