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