One of the most cherished dog breeds worldwide is the Golden Retriever, known for its intelligence, which makes them excel in obedience training. Their quick learning skills, people-pleasing nature, and special attachment to kids make them great dogs for families.
However, as the dog ages, it may face specific internal and external changes like weight gain, graying fur, hip or elbow dysplasia, low metabolism, or impaired immune function. Therefore, you should consider the changing nutritional requirements of your senior golden friend.
Supplements to add to your Golden Retriever’s diet
A senior dog often requires higher quality protein levels due to less ability to digest and absorb nutrients and because they need less energy from their diet.
Here is a list of the best supplements to give your senior golden retriever for healthy skin and bones:
A Probiotic supplement is good for the immune system and supports your dog’s gut. It contains microorganisms in a very large dose, which promotes a healthy GI tract with “good” bacteria in the gut that flourishes.
Usually, a dog’s gut can accumulate “bad” bacteria due to illness, anxiety, stress, or long-term medication. It also maintains the proper health of your dog’s body, as most of the immune system is located in your senior dog’s gut.
Curcumin is made from turmeric, which helps your dog relieve pain or inflammation. As it contains turmeric, it works as a wonderful spice that helps promote brain and joint health in aging golden retrievers. Curcumin is also considered one of the joint supplements for golden retrievers.
According to various studies, turmeric can cure pain similarly to an NSAID drug. Moreover, it is also popular for its anti-tumor properties and dental health support.
3. Glucosamine and Chondroitin
Glucosamine and chondroitin work as the best medicine to support the aging joints of your senior golden retriever. As the age of your golden retriever increases, it may face some joint pain, arthritis, or other common ailments.
Glucosamine can aid joint diseases by replacing the lost joint fluid and providing lubrication or comfort to stiff, achy joints. In addition, supplements that contain chondroitin sulfate can improve the joints’ structural integrity by repairing damaged cartilage and preventing cartilage breakdown. So considered one of the best joint supplements for golden retrievers.
Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid that helps your dog fight inflammation and itchy skin. Senior dogs may encounter dryness and itchiness in their skin and some dullness in their coats. Giving your senior dog Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids in their diet can reduce inflammation, make their skin healthy and soft, and give them a shiny coat.
It also supports healthy bone health and mobility in your dog. Also, it protects the body from allergies and keeps strong brain functions, heart health, and visual acuity.
5. Milk Thistle
Milk thistle is one of the best supplements for supporting the liver and kidneys. Moreover, this is especially beneficial for senior dogs on pain medication.
Adding natural milk thistle to your senior dog’s meal can help protect its liver from damage and improve its function. Dogs, especially those facing liver problems and on proper medication, should have natural milk thistle in their diet.
For instance, if your senior dog is taking any of the below NSAID pain medications regularly, you should discuss this with your vet and add milk thistle to its diet if your vet allows:
6. Collagen-rich bones
For healthy skin and strong joints, you can also add collagen-rich bone broth into your senior golden retriever’s diet, which supports healthy joints and skin in seniors. It contains joint-supporting nutrients such as glucosamine, chondroitin, and collagen, which help your dog maintain high mobility. Less mobility is one of the biggest causes of early death in golden retrievers.
In making your senior dog’s digestive system healthy, fiber is the most important element that should be in your golden retriever’s meal. Changing the lining of the intestines lowers their ability to digest and absorb the nutrients in their food.
Senior dogs may experience a faster breakdown of muscles and tissues as they age. As a result, they require a high protein intake in their diet unless your dog has chronic kidney disease or your vet recommends a low-protein diet.
Mostly, people who own a senior golden retriever add protein separately to their dog’s dry food, such as eggs or chicken breast. As commercial dog foods only contain around 20–30% protein. Therefore, according to your vet’s prescription, you can add more protein to your senior dog’s diet.
9. CBD Oil
CBD oil in your senior golden retriever’s diet helps it cope with pain and inflammation. As per various studies, CBD has come up as an aid to alleviate joint pain, reduce inflammation caused by allergies, calm nervous dogs, and reduce seizures in epileptic pups.
Therefore, we recommend choosing CBD oil or any product containing CBD oil that contains 0% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and is manufactured using multiple tests to ensure purity.
For a good immune system for your senior golden retriever, you can add mushrooms that are safe for dogs to the diet, like shiitake, turkey tail, and reishi. Mushrooms such as reishi, turkey tail, and shiitake can boost the golden retriever’s immune system. Besides, many mushrooms can be toxic to dogs, so you must ensure it is safe before using them as a supplement.
The antioxidant intake in the diet helps senior dogs balance aging effects such as memory loss and cognitive dysfunction. It also helps treat heart diseases in dogs by reducing inflammation. It contains substances like vitamins C and E and protects the body from free radicals or harmful molecules to prevent damage to cell membranes and even cell death.
For example, coenzyme Q10 is a natural or powerful antioxidant for dogs that helps convert food into energy and fight free radicals.
Frequently asked questions:
Should Golden Retrievers take supplements?
Golden retrievers are prone to severe joint or muscle problems, depending on size. Therefore, it is recommended that you add supplements to your Golden Retriever’s diet as soon as they stop growing or are around 12 months old.
What is the best supplement for a Golden Retriever coat?
Fish oil for dogs containing omega-3 fatty acids is the best supplement for your senior golden retriever’s coat to improve quality and shine and alleviate allergies.
How do you choose a dog supplement?
Check the ingredients or dosage on product labels before purchasing supplements for your dog to avoid side effects. Moreover, remember to check your dog’s allergies or medications and choose products accordingly. You can also discuss it with your vet before adding supplements to your dog’s meal.
What is a natural probiotic for dogs?
You can give your dog yogurt or kefir with live cultures, as they are a good source of natural probiotics. Some commercial brands use artificial cultures in yogurt or kefir, but they are not probiotics. Moreover, it also contains artificial sweeteners, which can harm your dog.
Read Also: Golden Retriever vs. Labrador Retriever
Adding supplements to your senior golden retriever’s diet can help it with almost all the issues it may suffer from. However, before choosing any supplement for your dog’s meal, you should consider the dog’s health, taste, and quality of supplements.
Moreover, research and find good or natural supplements or products to relieve your dog from possible medical issues and improve the quality of life for the coming years.