Senior Dogs 101: Supplementing For Longevity!

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I know I’ve been mentioning Ru’s age a lot more than usual, but I guess that’s because I want to stay aware of what this next phase of life will bring. I’m lucky that as of right now, I have an incredibly vibrant and healthy old man. Rufus shows no outward signs of achy joints, cloudy eyes, or hearing loss. His coat is still beautiful and shiny and he’s fairly active. Besides his ongoing issues with his gums (which are all genetic and mostly pain-free for him), he’s a healthy guy . A healthy, salt-and-pepper senior dude.

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He just really loves his naps. Like..a lot.

It’s important to stay proactive about your older dog’s health, even when everything seems to be going pretty freaking well. That’s how we keep things on the up-and-up, right?

I experiment a lot with what I give Rufus and always keep a close eye on any changes I see. There have been a few duds in the supplementation department, but here are a few that I continue to use and love:

Turmeric

I started giving Rufus turmeric after his dental scare last year to help fight some of the inflammation. It’s helped a little in that department, but like I said, it’s an uphill battle. HOWEVER! Supplementing with turmeric has proven to help in a lot of other ways. Turmeric can aid in relieving arthritic pain as well as any gastrointestinal issues. Not to mention this little plant can be cancer-fighting as well! We juice semi-regularly in this household, so sometimes I have turmeric root on hand but mostly supplement both of our diets with turmeric powder I buy in bulk online. Like I said before, Rufus doesn’t seem to be having joint issues yet but he is a tad slower getting up after a long snooze, so I figure it can’t hurt.

Raw Feeding

Ru’s diet isn’t 100% raw, but we’re leaning more and more towards that way of living as he gets older. His food digests so well, his poops are tiny, and he absolutely loves it! Yep. This vegan feeds her dog a 50% raw food diet in the form of freeze dried mixes and frozen patties thanks to Honest Kitchen and Stella and Chewy’s. The Honest Kitchen isn’t so bad because it’s dry fish and a ton of veggies, but the patties kind of make me wanna barf. The things we do for our pets…

Coconut oil

Another supplement the whole family shares. Coconut oil is great for dogs (and humans) and helps keep their coats shiny, their guts happy, and their brains functioning healthily. Rufus goes crazy for coconut oil as well – he loves his fats! It’s also great on toast with some coconut sugar and cinnamon for us humans. Just FYI.

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Blurry but on the go!

Those are just a few of the supplements I give to Rufus to keep him happy and healthy. All of them are fairly affordable, especially since I only supplement with the raw food as of right now. I’m really happy with the results I’ve seen in the long term, so I thought it was worth sharing with all of you out there fighting the good fight. We can’t stop our pups from getting older, but we can certainly keep their quality of life from diminishing for as long as possible.

What supplements do you use for your dogs? Any tips on how to make a 100% raw diet more affordable? And maybe even less disgusting…ahem.

Pet Health | 3 Teeth Later…

Two weeks ago, I took Rufus in for an exam. For the past few years, we’ve had some real issues with his gums. A year ago, our vet put him on some natural remedies to (hopefully) calm down what we thought was severe gingivitis. His actual teeth seemed healthy enough, but his gums were inflamed to a point the vet hadn’t seen before.

Well, that didn’t really work.

And then a month ago, I noticed a growth on his gum line that seemed pretty alarming.

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Bump is next to the bottom canine tooth

After an exam and doing some of my own research, I decided it was best to get it removed. And since he would have to be put under anyway, I scheduled a teeth cleaning as well.

I kind of hate having to put him under, but we do what we gotta do sometimes.

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Such a pathetic sight…

So what did we learn?

-The biopsy results of his growth are not in yet. However, the vet is leaning towards issues with inflammation and gum overgrowth due to an allergy or reaction as opposed to something more serious. This is good news and I’m hoping it stays this way and we get answers as to what is causing this.

-He had three teeth that were so damaged, they had to be pulled. Two of these teeth had exposed nerves. What?? I couldn’t even comprehend how that was possible as Rufus is always fine with eating, chewing, and gnawing on things like bully sticks and hooves. But I suppose when you love food as much as he does, you find a way around the pain. What a punk.

-His breath is sooooooo much better. Hallelujah! 

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He’s obviously as thrilled about this as I am…

I’ll keep you guys updated on any changes. We can’t do much right now as he has stitches in his mouth that have to heal first. As for the future, I’m going to make sure to CLOSELY exam his mouth regularly (as he obviously won’t tell me when something is wrong), brush them daily, and take bad breath much more seriously.

#teambreaththatsmellslikeroses

Chewy Review | Fromm Treats, Low-Fat and Low-Ingredients

I’m back with a blog hop and a review! This month, Rufus tried out the Fromm Low-Fat Dog Treats in the Liver Recipe. But don’t get too excited, because….whoops

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Welp, I kinda failed on this one. Even though Fromm is an amazing company, I am trying to keep Rufus away from wheat flour as much as possible. Remember this post?  Yeah. And guess what the first ingredient is on these bad boys?  Whoops.

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That being said, these treats are super tiny. And if you have a dog who is totally fine with wheat, they’re perfect for training and rewarding good behavior while keeping your pup slim and trim. I let Rufus have one before passing them on to a friend because his allergies are incredibly minor and it takes quite a bit to affect him at all.

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Yep, I’ll take that.

He didn’t seem too worried.

Next time, I’ll be sure to re-read the fine print.

*Thanks to Chewy for gifting us these treats in exchange for our honest review. I would never steer you wrong, friends. 

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Keep It Simple | Sojos Simply Treats Review

For the most part, I keep Rufus grain-free. Since his allergies aren’t severe, I don’t worry too much about the occasional treat being thrown his way via the coffee shop drive-thru or when I run to the bank and the teller tosses him a little somethin-somethin’ in the dropbox.

But then a few weeks ago, I purchased some holiday themed treats from my local market and realized that maybe his sensitivity to wheat (or something else) was a tad stronger than I thought. Within a few hours, his eye boogers were out of control and he wouldn’t stop itching his ears. Of course it took me a few days to link the specific treats to his reaction, but then I immediately threw them out and all was right in the world again.

Maybe it’s his age that’s making him more sensitive to certain foods or maybe it was something in the treats I wasn’t aware of (food coloring? a preservative?). Whatever it was, we are back on track and haven’t had an issue since.

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Yes, we are going to keep things clean and simple from here on out, which is why these Simply Lamb treats from Sojos are perfect for all of those sensitive pups out there.

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With just one ingredient and limited processing, they couldn’t be more straight-to-the-point.

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And since my dog is absolutely not a vegetarian, he went wild for these. Meat and peanut butter – his two loves in life. What a bro.

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Thanks to Chewy.com for giving us the opportunity to try their quality products in exchange for our honest review. 

Companies We Love | The Honest Kitchen

Generally speaking, we are big fans of Honest Kitchen in this household. They are a non-nonsense brand that emphasizes using fresh, clean ingredients.

I’ve been feeding Rufus their dehydrated dog food line off and on for years now. But since it can be a bit pricey, I try my hardest to make a 4lb. box last for as long as possible by supplementing it with his everyday dry kibble.

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He’s constantly getting compliments on his soft and shiny coat, and I can’t help but think a lot of it has to do with all the good stuff Honest Kitchen packs into their formulas.

I'm so fancy.

I’m so fancy.

Oh, and bonus! The treats they offer are just as wholesome.

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Simple ingredients that I can pronounce are a must for both me and my pup.

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Yep, we are both big fans of this wonderful little big company.

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And in case you haven’t caught on by now, these product reviews will never be taste tested accurately because this dude gets equally excited for anything and everything resembling food. If there’s ever a treat he DOESN’T devour, then I will be sure to let you know. But until then….enjoy yet another photo of Ru getting all excited about his noms.

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Have you tried any of their products? What key ingredients do you keep an eye out for when it comes to feeding your pooch?

*Thanks to Chewy for the treats and thanks to Honest Kitchen for being super rad. 

Review | TropiClean Fresh Breath + Flaxseed Dental Dog Treats

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Around here, we love dental treats. Some of our favorites include Zuke’s Z-Bones and Whimzees. So when Chewy contacted us about trying TropiClean’s version of the classic breath freshener, I jumped all over it.

Rufus would’ve jumped as well if he could read e-mails and grasp basic English…but I digress.

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Let’s cut to the chase. Here’s my speedy review in bullet points:

The Good:

-Great formula with impressive ingredients (I especially loved the addition of flaxseeds and parsley leaf).

-Freshened Ru’s breath (temporarily, but it’s a lost cause anyways so I’ll take what I can get).

-Awesome price point for the amount given (10 chews for 14 bucks).

-Rufus thinks they taste pretty darn delicious.

The Not-As-Good

-The size of the bones could be bigger. Unfortunately, they only offer two sizes right now. That being said, I think these would work really well for dogs between 25-40 lbs.

-The shape isn’t anything special. What I love about Whimzees is that you can get them in the form of spiked porcupines or scaly alligators (trust me, they totally work) – both of which do an awesome job of getting into the hard-to-reach spots in a dog’s mouth. A curved and smooth bone-shape just doesn’t do as well in my opinion.

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My final verdict? These treats are perfect for small or small-to-medium sized dogs. I also think they would work really well if your pup isn’t a big chewer. I will definitely be using these up as they do a great job in the fresh breath department, but I think we’ll stick to other brands in the future.

Ru’s final verdict? Yum and stuff.

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Thanks again to Chewy.com for the chance to review this product!