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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-17-2009, 12:52 AM Thread Starter
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I have a 13 year old black lab X. He's getting old I know, but he is still pretty active! Anyways, I'm wondering if aside from Senior labeled food (we feed him dry) if there are any particular brands that are good for him. If there are also any good tips on taking care of him nowadays? He's very calm, and loves walks and food and attention, but isn't so much into playing. I want to make sure he stays oh, so healthy! Thanks
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-17-2009, 08:16 PM
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Hi!! And welcome!
As dogs get older, so too do their habots of old. My little terrier mix, Coco is 12 now and although he is sleeping more than ever he still plays as well. He loves to bring me toys and his favorite are packaged foods like Mr.Noodles. The sound of the wrappers are most exciting! He goes into the food thing and takes them himself but he never opens them unless he comes and asks us first (Ill be uploading a video of him and his granola bar after Monday)
Off topic, anyway, senior labeled food is most important since it contains less carbs and fats allowing better maintenance of weight. From my experience, vet foods made Coco sicker than what I normally feed him :/ this might be contrary to what they'd like to make me beleive but I live with my dog , not them. Experiment with vet foods and store brands, it's all dependant on YOUR dog.
To make him more comfortable, masssage. This is effective because it helps the circulation of blood and well, it just feels SO good! Either practice yourself and see what he prefers or watch some videos and tutorials on favorite spots. Acupuncture is available widespread throughout vets and I think some grooming salons now, but Im not sure on prices. I hear this is an amazing release of tension for their weary muscles. Make stairs either a no-no or provide ramps and other ways to conquer levels in the home. In Marley and Me, they blocked off the staircase so Marley wouldnt go up and down on his own.. For his own safety. My dog is small enough to pick up and carry, but you also have a Lab.. He will most certainly try and make you believe he can do it because he wants to be strong for you but be careful about his fragile bones and mobility. You dont want him to fall, Coco trips up the stairs too now.
Also, you might wanna try a glucosamine/Chondroitin supplement. I heard this can take years to take effect though. So talk to your vet about short term remedies.
The best thing you can do with a senior dog, is just be there for him. He'll be your best friend until the very end.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-17-2009, 11:24 PM
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There are doggy massage and yoga classes that you can take him to and also there are dog massage guides online if you don't know where to start.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-20-2009, 12:20 AM
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One of the most important things for a senior dog (ESPECIALLY a lab) is to make sure he is not overweight. I have seen several overweight labs lives shortened by several years just because extra weight on a old dog strains their heart, and other vital organs.

Keeping that in mind, a senior food is a great thing to feed, as long as 1. It's a high quality food with Gloucosamine and Chondrotion in it, and 2. It's a low fat, or reduced fat formula (LIGHT is not the same thing!!)

I have a (almost) senior Rottweiler who was getting a little too chunky for my liking. Since he is a high energy dog, I put him on Innova EVO reduced fat formula, and it worked wonderfully for him. It is a high protein, ultra low carb, grain free, reduced fat food that benefited him all down the list. The only downside with the EVO line is that the level of Gloucosamine and Chondrotion were not high enough for my liking, so I added a joint support in pill form to his meals (Wellness makes a great double strength formula for large breed dogs)

There are several great brands of large breed senior dry food that I would reccomend:
Innova
Wellness
Solid Gold
Canidae
are four great ones that I can think of off the top of my head

brands to stay away from are all grocery store brands like:
Iams
Eukanuba
Science Diet
Purina
Pedigree
etc, etc
not only do these foods have inadequate ingredients, they are also high in fat and carbs, and they make LIGHT formulas that are useless.

Another very important thing you can do is STOP VACCINATIONS! Veterinarians only tell you to vaccinate year after year after year so you will spend the money. ONE rabies vaccination has enough protection in it to stay in the dog's body for OVER SEVEN YEARS!! When a dog gets older, their immune system weakens, and unnecessary vaccinations just weaken it faster. If your dog has had a rabies vax in the last five years, don't ever do it again. He's good and protected for the rest of his life. Don't let the vet pound into your head that he can get bit by a squirrel and die of rabies...it won't happen.

My German Shepherd (who's three) and younger Rott (who's one) were both vaccinated with a three year rabies vax last year, and I don't ever plan on vaccinating again. My older Rott was vaccinated with a three year rabies, 5 years ago, and I got a titer blood test done this year to check the levels of the vaccine left in his blood, the test said he is protected for another 6 years!!

www.ourdogsonline.com is a great place to visit for more information on nutrition and vaccinating for senior dogs, it's a great community with a holistic view of dog care.

Last edited by Riddick; 10-20-2009 at 12:24 AM.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-20-2009, 11:24 AM
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No vaccines for older dogs? I had Coco vaccinated last year for Parvo but I skipped his rabies vaccine. Is this smart? Ill check the link later when Im home, thanks
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-21-2009, 09:57 PM
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It depends on how old your dog is and what vaccines he's had in the past...if your dog is over a year old then parvo is unnecessary because the most common occurrences of parvo-virus is in puppies. if your dog has had at least ONE rabies vaccination in his entire life, then I say skip it.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-22-2009, 09:23 AM
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My dog is 12 years old Im thinking I dont wanna risk the Parvo shot since it's too common for my liking here in the warmer months. Older dogs have a weaker immune system like puppies.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-22-2009, 02:37 PM
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If parvo-virus is very common in your area then yes, you are right in getting him vaccinated for that...I have only ever seen parvo in (very few) puppies in my area, and never in older dogs.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-22-2009, 08:03 PM
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People in Newfoundland like to leave their dogs out in certian areas making it spread faster. -_- Also, the beagles in shabby kennels here pretty much are exposed to it in the sticks.. sadness. Its not overly common, like an epidemic but Ive seen it more than I want to.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-22-2009, 11:14 PM
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That's sad...especially because it is so easily preventable with proper care Heartworm is big in the midwest, so that's something I never skip on treating in the warmer months.
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