How to help relieve dog dementia symptoms

How to Help Relieve Dog Dementia Symptoms

How to help relieve dog dementia symptoms

The love of my life, Red, lived with dementia for 2 ½ years and I was always looking for ways to help relieve her dog dementia symptoms.

I’ve written a lot about my experiences and struggles with canine cognitive dysfunction. I say “my” because dementia doesn’t just affect your dog, it affects everyone living in the house and in your circle.   

A tough thing to reconcile

Red’s dementia diagnosis, made by me BTW, was such a shock, but the biggest shock came when my vet said there was only one treatment available. I like options and hearing there were none was a bit scary, okay frightening, especially because there was obviously no guarantee this “one” thing would work. The treatment I am referring to is Selgian, the prescription medication available here in the UK and Anipryl, available in Canada and the United States. I’m afraid I can’t speak for other countries.

The next biggest shock came when I started my Facebook group for senior dog parents, Senior Dog Care Club. There were so many stories from members who spoke about the apathy of their vets when it came to helping them care for their “golden oldies”, not to mention being told there was nothing to be done for dementia. The number of animals who must be suffering needlessly is too much to bear.  

I know from my own experiences many vets won’t recommend a medication if they don’t feel it works for enough animals, or the evidence is anecdotal. While I intellectually understand that attitude, I disagree with it because what if it would have worked for my pet and I didn’t know about it?

How to help relieve dog dementia symptoms

Don’t worry, there are options!

Thankfully there are many alternatives and natural treatments available, so you do have options

Disclaimer

Because of the climate we live in, and I don’t mean weather, I have to write this. First of all, I have no personal association with this company. I am also in no way suggesting you take matters into your own hands, throw caution to the wind and try every snake oil treatment you might have read about. What I am suggesting is to find yourself a vet who is compassionate and caring towards senior animals, do your research, join a group, read about others experiences and make a list of what makes sense to you. Then have a conversation with your wonderful vet and talk about what you’d like to try. A holistic vet is also a great option to consider.

Now to the good stuff!

Have you heard of Senilife? I’ve read many stories reporting great results, including from members of my group, so I felt it was important to delve into this product a bit more deeply.

Can Senilife help relieve dog dementia symptoms

What is Senilife?

Here is a short description taken from the company website. “Senilife is a supplement containing a unique blend of antioxidants — phosphatidylserine, pyridoxine, ginko biloba extract, resveratrol and d-alpha-tocopherol — which work together to help reduce brain-aging behaviors in as little as 7 days.”

Let’s take a look at what each of the 5 components are and how they combine to help with aging brain issues. Explanations for each component are in quotes and also taken from the website.

Phosphatidylserine – “Improves nerve-cell communication and helps this process continue working effectively.”

Pyridoxine – A naturally occurring form of Vitamin B6 it is “essential for normal brain development, function and heath.”

Gingko Biloba Extract – “Improves cerebral blood flow, increase glucose metabolism, and has a strong antioxidant effect.”

Resveratrol – “Antioxidant which protects neurons from toxic substances which can cause cell death.”

D-alpha-tocopherol – “Natural form of Vitamin E with strong antioxidant action and proven effectiveness on cognitive decline.”

 

I came across this article, “Improvement of short-term memory performance in aged beagles by a nutraceutical supplement containing phosphatidylserine, Ginkgo biloba, vitamin E, and pyridoxine.”  Okay I know the title is heavy, but you might find it of interest. 

Will Senilife help?

I know the heartbreak of watching a much loved pup live with dementia, and wanting a guarantee that XYZ will work. I wish I can say this will, but the truth is I have no idea.

What I do know is, just because it didn’t work for one dog doesn’t mean you will have the same outcome. What I also know is how happy I am products like Senilife exist.

There are so many positive results, in my opinion it’s worth a try, but please speak to your vet about it to make sure the ingredients won’t conflict with other medications your dog may be taking.

Will Senilife help relieve dog dementia symptoms

Can Senilife be used as a preventative?

The makers of Senilife believe you should start giving it to your dog as soon as he or she reaches “senior” status, but what age is that? Opinions vary, especially with all the mixed breeds out there, so this is the guide provided by the company.

  • Dogs up to 21 lbs –  8 years
  • Dogs 22-49 lbs – 7 years
  • Dogs over 50 lbs – 6 years

Will it guarantee your dog won’t get dementia? I don’t think anyone is in a position to make that claim, but it may postpone it, slow down its progression and lessen the symptoms.

Is it easy to administer?

It comes in a capsule which can be given whole in food or a treat, or emptied into/onto the same. Many dogs are too smart for their own good and refuse to eat anything that has “foreign” matter in it. No matter how you try and disguise it he’s not falling for it! I know because I live with one now!

If your dog knows when you’re trying to slip him something, this post has lots of helpful ideas to outsmart him. 

What senior dog parents are saying about Senilife

There were so many positive reviews and this product came recommended by our veterinarian so I gave it a try. By Day 8 I started to notice small improvements and by Day 21 I had my old (not senile!) dog back! Our biggest issue with canine cognitive disorder was the sundowners. Every night brought anxiety, pacing and panting. Now our old lab can peacefully sleep through the night again.

After researching the things I was observing, I quickly realized that maybe she did have doggy dementia. I started her on this supplement, not having high expectations. I can say she is a new dog. She is back to sleeping through the night, very energetic and playful during the day, knows which way the door opens and much more. Her cognitive function has improved drastically, she’s well-rested and always ready to play with her toys. We are still on our first bottle of Senilife, but this is definitely worth a shot if your dog is experiencing a cognitive decline.

I have a 16 year old cairn terrier who has been declining for the past year, and I decided to give this a try. Prior to starting on the Senilife, he had lost all signs of friskiness and enthusiasm for food and his movements were very slow. He frequently exhibited signs of dementia (confusion, not knowing where he was, etc.) After a couple of weeks on the Senilife, he started bouncing around periodically and seemed to regain some of his previously vibrant personality. Don’t get me wrong–he is still 16 and sedentary 90% of the time, but he just seems happier and more comfortable in his skin. He even runs in the backyard occasionally, which I hadn’t seen him do in at least a year. So I believe this has returned a noticeable degree of quality of life, and i couldn’t be happier. He recently had a complete blood workup (after 6 weeks on Senilife) and his bloodwork was great, so i don’t think it’s having any invisible negative effects. If your dog is going through similar life changes, it’s worth a try.

BUY IT !!!! This has literally saved my older dog with dementia!!! I cannot promise results but it has helped our older dog so much it is almost a miracle! Our rescue collie was dx’ed with dementia and our Vet AND a more holistic friend both recommended this so I thought it most likely works. After almost 2.5-3 weeks our baby has quit walking into walls, staring at nothing, and the panting and pacing (all night long!) has almost completely stopped! I was this close to sending him to the Rainbow bridge and am beyond thankful this is working for now. Quality of life is always first and foremost and I strongly recommend trying this but giving it time to work before other things, but always check with your vet first! It has not stopped the incontinence but that is another issue. Love this stuff!!! Make sure to order the proper weight size!

Great tip to help relieve dog dementia symptoms

Where are the negative comments?

Of course there are negative comments, it’s to be expected, and they were from people who didn’t see any results, and that too is to be expected.

Senilife, yay or nay?

As long as my vet felt the ingredients were safe for my dog, I would absolutely give it a try. Imagine if this was “the” product that made a difference in your dog’s life! So what’s it going to be – yay or nay?

 

 

Sharing helps others so please leave a comment below, or on my Facebook page.

**I would like to invite you to join Senior Dog Care Club, my Facebook group for senior dog parents. There you will find lots of helpful tips and advice, a place to ask questions and share experiences. I look forward to welcoming you.**

 

**There are affiliate links in this post, which means if you purchase anything I make a few pennies…literally. That money helps me help homeless animals through donations and fostering, as well as keeping this blog running. **

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Natural Instinct raw food for senior dogs

Feeding Raw to Older Dogs

 

feeding raw to older dogs

Dogs and cats have evolved to eat meat and bone. The structure of their jaws, their teeth and their digestive system have not changed at all since the days that they would hunt and scavenge for their food, which is why it makes sense to continue to feed them raw meat and bone, just as nature intended.

Natural Instinct is a Biologically Appropriate Raw Food (“BARF”) for dogs and cats providing a balanced nutritional and delicious diet. Their products are all made in Surrey using human grade ingredients. They work hard to provide as safe a product as possible, which is a process that starts on the farm with the selection of healthy animals and involves the all important deep freezing process. Recipes are made using 100% British meats and the freshest fruit and vegetables (for dogs only) and are free from artificial additives, colours, preservatives, fillers or grains.

What are the benefits of feeding your dog Raw Ingredients?

Despite the many years of domestication and the evolutionary changes that have occurred as a result of this, the domestic dog is still designed to process and benefit from a raw meat and bone based diet. The dog’s dentistry for Natural Instinct raw food for senior dogsexample is designed for nipping, tearing and crushing/macerating meat and bone and has no side to side grinding ability that is needed for plant fibres. The gut is short and the stomach small with strong acid which is adapted to high meat and bone based diets and not for the breakdown and fermentation of high starch and plant fibre based diets. Even though the domesticated dog largely uses humans to supply their food, they have never learnt to cook and never get excited about a field of corn… other than when a rabbit is running through it!

What are the health benefits of feeding raw dog food to an older dog?

The health benefits of feeding high quality balanced raw dog food are the same for an older dog as they are for a young or middle-aged dog.  Well-formulated raw dog food is the biologically appropriate food for dogs with no processing, no artificial preservatives or colourants and no hidden ingredients. 

With increased heath issues relating to the human diet such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes people are now taking more care about their own diets and are eating “cleaner”.

Pets are such an important part of the family and owners are following the principles for their own diets for their pets – feeding as nature intended, free from artificial additives, colours, preservatives and fillers.

The benefits of feeding a raw diet are endless and include:

  • A shiny coat
  • Fresher breath
  • Healthy skin
  • Healthy digestion and bowels
  • Strong bones, teeth and joints
  • Stools reduced and easier to clean up
  • More resilient immune system
  • Dense muscle structure
  • Lots of energy

 

We receive numerous testimonials from customers saying how uncomfortable skin, coat, teeth and joint conditions have been resolved following a transition to Natural Instinct. Problems relating to digestion, breath and aggressive behaviour have also shown improvement. Increased health and vitality, as well as an alleviation of IBS and colitis have also been named.

Why is it important to change a dog’s diet as they get older?

As dogs’ age they may be subject to more wear and tear issues such as arthritis and the geriatric animal is more likely to have less efficient organs such as the kidney, liver and immune system, so the food needs to be adapted to these potential changes. Many of these things lead to a reduction in the level of exercise and activity, which also changes the dogs’ calorie requirement. It is very individual just as it is in humans and this is where routine health checks in old age to check organ function can be a great help in assessing the dietary needs of your dog.

Natural Instinct offer a Senior recipe for Dogs

Natural Instinct’s Senior recipe is made using human grade chicken and bone, together with the freshest apples, carrots and butternut squash, spinach, sea kelp and Scottish salmon oil, the Senior recipe is suitable for dogs who feel their age or have joint and mobility issues as it contains additional supplements. The addition of Vitamin C helps support the immune system and the added Glucosamine and Chondroitin help aid aging and stiff joints. Chondroitin is a natural substance found in a dog’s cartilage and, when paired with glucosamine, has an even more beneficial effect on a dog’s joints.

How should older dog owners transition their dog to a raw diet?

Firstly owners of older dogs need to fully assess the health status of their dog and know any individual requirements e.g. an older dog prone to pancreatitis will need lower fat formulations, arthritic dogs will need higher glucosamine content and will need particular attention paid to not becoming overweight due to their reduced activity levels so may need less than the average feeding rate. Our advice for those who do wish to convert is to slowly transition over a 2-week period and support the dog with probiotic during this period (Natural Instinct offer a Zoolac Probiotic Paste). The body needs time to adjust to a completely different diet and this may take longer in older animals – slow is best to allow adjustment to take place and prevent constipation or diarrhoea during the switch over period. In geriatric animals or very sick animals it may not be appropriate to convert them from a processed to a raw diet if they are currently stabilised on the diet that they are on. 

 

For more information visit their website www.naturalinstinct.com and https://www.naturalinstinct.com/senior-dog-food

 

**DISCLAIMER**

I have no association with Natural Instinct, financial or otherwise. I approached them to write this article, as it is a diet I am interested in including more information about on this website.

ThunderShirt for dogs product review

ThunderShirt for Dogs – Product Review

Thundershirt for dogs review

Does any of this sound familiar?

  • Your senior dog has dementia and can’t stop circling or pacing
  • You are about to start campaigning for a ban on fireworks
  • The sound of rumblings in the sky sends you into a panic
  • ThunderShirt for Dogs Product ReviewYour dog is left out of family fun days because he can’t handle a car ride
  • It’s a wrestling match trying to take him or her to the vet
  • Your dog is destroying your home when left alone
  • You can’t find the “off” switch when he starts to bark

Don’t worry because help is finally here!

My dog Red has been living with dementia for over two years, and until recently her condition has been stable. Unfortunately her treatments are no longer working and I’ve been searching for an alternative…preferably drug free! I came across this anxiety wrap called a ThunderShirt, and with an over 80% success rate, backed by science and a 100% money back guarantee, I was intrigued and had to learn more.

Get more information and buy now on Amazon.com >>>

Features and Specifications

  • Easy to use, no training required just put it on your dog
  • Available in 7 sizes
  • Over 80% success rate
  • Claims are backed by scientific support and customer feedback
  • Rated most effective solution for anxiety by vets in a 2011 survey
  • Safe to leave on your dog for extended periods of time when needed
  • Made from a thin, breathable fabric
  • Can be washed in cold water on regular cycle using regular laundry detergent, and hung to dry
  • Money back guarantee

If you like supporting companies that do good in the community, then you’re going to love this next feature. Thunderworks, the company that created this product, donates ThunderShirts to adoption organisations around the country. Selections for recipients are made monthly. How fab is that!

Get further details and buy now on Amazon.com >>>

Customer Feedback


“I’ve spent a fortune over the years on plug ins, pheromone sprays and prescription medications and nothing has helped with LuLu’s anxiety. I put this shirt on her and no more panting and pacing, she lay on the sofa next to me all night!”

“My dog has had dementia for the past 2 years and it’s been a struggle trying to find something to calm him down. He’s anxious all the time – paces, circles, barely rests. I am on a tight budget, I don’t sleep well and I was feeling desperate so I ordered one. I had to try it 2 or 3 times before Charlie started to relax, but the difference in him now is incredible. He’s like a new dog. Thank you, thank you!”  

“This was a great choice for our big move! We had a 7 hour car ride with my senior dog who has quite severe anxiety if she’s in the car too long. It worked like a charm and she slept most of the way.”

“ThunderShirt absolutely 100% works.”

Drawbacks

The only “drawback” is there is no guarantee it will work for every dog, but they never claim it will. With its’ high success rate in treating dogs for a wide range of anxiety issues, and personally knowing many people who have seen amazing results, I highly recommend giving this product a try.

Buy now at Amazon.com >>>

When you have a dog that suffers from anxiety, no matter the cause, it is heart breaking to watch, and you’re willing to try anything to help. Personally I love the idea of a drug free solution, and with the number of satisfied Thundershirts for dogscustomers and pups as a testimonial, the ThunderShirt is that solution.

With so much potential reward, how can you not take the chance? If it turns out it doesn’t help your dog there is a money back guarantee. They’ll even give you a refund if you donate it to an animal shelter…as long as you can prove it!

I am happy to recommend this product to anyone who lives with an anxious dog, and am particularly encouraged by how much it has helped dogs suffering from dementia (canine cognitive dysfunction).

I would like to invite you to join Senior Dog Care Club, my Facebook group for senior dog parents. There you will find lots of helpful tips and advice, a place to ask questions and share experiences. I look forward to welcoming you.

 

*There are affiliate links in this post, which means if you purchase anything I make a few pennies…literally. That money helps me help homeless animals through donations and fostering, as well as keeping this blog running.

 

Nutrition and your senior dog

Nutrition and Your Senior Dog

 

Nutrition and your senior dog

It’s easy to assume that the changes older dogs experience are inevitable. While hard to believe, most dogs are considered “senior” around age seven, and around this time, may slow down, sleep more, play less and otherwise show signs of age. But older dogs that get exercise, mental stimulation and specially-formulated nutrition can avoid some of the physical and cognitive changes that can come along with age such as decreased lean muscle mass, reduced mobility, reduced metabolism and changes in mental sharpness. Along with these changes, a senior dog’s nutritional needs change. This is why it’s important to feed your senior dog a food formulated specifically to meet his nutritional needs.

I’ve worked at Nestle Purina for close to 28 years, and as Director of Nutrition Research, I am part of a team of 500 researchers in R&D developing pet food innovations. We’ve been studying aging in pets for more than a Nutrition and your senior dogdecade, and the PetCare Research team that I work with has been dedicated to uncovering the latest advancements in canine cognitive health to keep pets’ brains sharper, longer. As researchers, we asked, “what if nutrition could positively impact a dog’s cognitive health?” And we made a remarkable discovery: it can.

Maybe you’ve noticed that your dog is interacting with you less. Or has lower engagement in daily activities. These are just some of the signs your dog may be aging. And like you, we wondered why. There is a reason your dog may be experiencing these age-related changes. A senior dog study found that around age 7, the glucose metabolism in a dog’s brain begins to change – affecting things like memory, attention, learning or decision making.

Our team of Purina scientists discovered that nutrition can positively impact a dog’s cognitive health and developed a breakthrough nutrition innovation – BRIGHT MIND Adult 7+ – to support cognitive health in dogs ages seven and older.

BRIGHT MIND Adult 7+ formulas contain enhanced botanical oils called MCTs, which have been shown to promote alertness and mental sharpness in dogs seven and older. MCTs provide an additional source of energy for the brain cells to naturally nourish their minds and help them think more like they did when they were younger. When added to the daily diet of dogs seven and older, formulas that contain enhanced botanical oils promoted memory, attention and trainability.

Feeding your senior dog Purina Pro Plan BRIGHT MIND Adult 7+ as a daily diet, you may notice differences in the way your dog interacts with you, their interest in play and their ability to adapt and cope with change.

I’ve been doing this for a long time, and one of the most rewarding parts of my job is seeing the difference that this food is making for owners and their senior dogs – it’s really changing their lives. We’ve heard such positive feedback and stories from owners about the impact of BRIGHT MIND Adult 7+ formulas on their dog and how it has changed their relationship.

Success story

Ray and Jan, owners of Lady, told us that Lady used to be the queen of playing soccer – any time, any place, she was always ready for a game, eager to run up and down the stairs and catch the ball as fast as she could. But, as Lady got older, things started to change. She started to slow down. She just wasn’t as interested in playing – and she didn’t seem excited about the things she used to love.

Ray and Jan agreed to give BRIGHT MIND Adult 7+ a try, and when we checked back in 30 days later, they couldn’t stop talking about the incredible difference they saw.  Lady was once again interested in learning new things, had a bright look in her eyes, and, maybe most importantly, was excited to play soccer again.

If Lady’s story sounds familiar, consult your veterinarian to discuss if a change to your senior dog’s diet could be in order and see how BRIGHT MIND Adult 7+ can help. With the right care, attention and nutrition, you and your dog can make the most of all of your years together.

 

 

Janet Jackson Director of Nutrition Research Purina

Janet is the Vice President & Director of the Nestle Research Center (NRC) at Nestle Purina PetCare.  She joined Purina in 1990 after receiving her PhD in Animal Nutrition from the University of Illinois. Her team is responsible for developing nutritional innovations for Purina products by continuing to build knowledge to enhance the overall health of our pets so they can live long, healthy, happy lives. Janet grew up on a farm in North Central Illinois and has had cats and dogs as long as she can remember.  Janet and her husband currently enjoy the company of three cats: Callie, Lucy, and most recently, King Tut.

 

resource page to help you care for your senior dog

Keeping Your Dog Mentally Stimulated Through the Golden Years

Angela's 3 Border Collies and their snuffle mats

All dogs no matter age, breed, or size have a natural desire to engage in enriching mental and physical activities. However, for senior dogs, physical activity may eventually become limited due to arthritis or medical issues that prohibit your dog from taking long walks or romping around in the yard. When that happens, mental stimulation becomes even more important. A dog who feels satisfied is one who is less likely to exhibit destructive or disruptive behaviors, or worse, develop problematic emotional issues associated with a lack of satisfaction (e.g. depression, frustration, decreased ability to cope with stress, etc.).

Types of Enrichment

Dogs are scavenging predators, which means that the activities they find most satisfying will usually revolve around behaviors associated with obtaining food. This can be broken down into two categories: predatory Keeping Your Dog Mentally Stimulated Through the Golden Yearsactivities and scavenging activities.

For sake of time, we’ll focus on scavenging activities, which can be defined as any behavior (other than predatory behavior) that a dog employs to obtain food. Training new behaviors and tricks could fall into this category (e.g. a dog solves a problem and receives a piece of food from his/her trainer/handler), but the usual suspects include Kongs, treat dispensers, nose work games, puzzle toys, snuffle mats, etc.

Wait. A what mat?

Snuffle mats are an interactive work-to-eat dog “toy” that provide entertainment, enrichment, and mental stimulation for dogs as they search, sniff, and snuffle their way to find the hidden treats you place in advance. They’re a great way to help dogs relieve boredom and a must-have addition to anyone’s box of work-to-eat toys.

 My husband is a dog trainer/behavior consultant and has introduced snuffle mats to hundreds of dogs over the past year and noticed two universally common things among almost every dog that’s engaged with one. First, they all seem to be interested in it. Personally, I’ve seen dogs indifferent to treat balls and Kongs, but have yet to see one of my husband’s client’s dogs not be intrigued and then enthralled by a snuffle mat loaded with the appropriately motivating food/treats. Second, the level of satisfaction seems to be high for almost every dog who works on it (measured visually by observing the obvious arousal levels of a dog before and after working on one). They LOVE it!

Snuffle Mat Uses and Benefits

There are tons of different use cases for snuffle mats, and a few good ones directed at improving the lives of senior dogs.

For those dogs who aren’t as mobile, or have trouble bending down to eat food off the ground, you can prop the snuffle mat on top of a box or small table to relieve any strain on your dog’s neck/shoulders. Pepper demonstrates here:

Also, unlike most work-to-eat toys, a snuffle mat will more likely “stay put” versus rolling away. It’s a great solution, especially for blind dogs who find themselves bumping into things or getting frustrated when they have trouble keeping up with a toy that moves around too much. Owner frustration may also set in if you’re having to constantly fetch a Kong or treat ball that rolled under your couch to give it back to your dog.

Chap is a blind, senior border collie being fostered by a wonderful woman who was looking for a toy that would keep his brain working and that he’d enjoy since other work-to-eat type toys would easily roll away, making it hard for him to find or make him bump into things in the process. A snuffle mat was the perfect solution – the mat stays put, and Chap can dig in to find his treats without worrying about it rolling away.  See Chap in action

A snuffle mat is also great for dogs recovering from an illness or surgery and restricted from exercise or physical activity as it makes it easier for your dog to stay in a smaller area, while still exerting mental energy. Dr. Elizabeth Guest author Dr Williams dog who is quoted in the postWilliams, DVM, CVA, CCRT of Whole Health Mobile Pet Care (Triangle Township, NC) recommends snuffle mats to her patients to include in their rehab exercises and says, “it’s a great way to encourage strength training and weight shifting while they are healing.”

One of the biggest issues with senior dogs is the loss of core muscle mass associated with a diminishing of activity. The mat is a great tool for low-impact exercise.

Other use cases include:

  • Slowing down speedy eaters
  • Enticing a dog who is not very enthusiastic about eating or hesitates when eating out of traditional plastic or metal bowls.
  • Helps with behavior modification: slowly introduce your dog to new sites, smells, and noises by allowing them to use the snuffle mat while anxiety-causing stimulus is nearby.
  • Some dogs are a bit anxious or apprehensive when new guests come into the home: move your dog to a gated off area with the snuffle mat to help redirect that anxiety until they are more settled.
  • For dogs with separation anxiety or distress: sometimes other interactive work-to-eat toys are too passive to engage a dog’s brain. Research shows the opposite for dogs who use a snuffle mat – 7 out of 10 dogs showed significant improvement in their mental and physical well-being when a bowl or plate of snacks was replaced with a long fiber carpet (like a snuffle mat).
  • Use it while you’re making or eating dinner to keep your dog out of the kitchen.
  • Inclement weather makes it harder to provide dogs with physical activity – use a snuffle mat to help expend mental energy instead.
  • Helps acclimate your dog to the car and car rides.
  • Makes crate time a fun time.

Not All Snuffle Mats are Created Equal

As with any product on the market today, the materials used to create it play a critical role in how well the product works and lasts. My company, SnuffleMutt, only uses anti-pill fleece, and while it’s more expensive, the benefits outweigh those of inferior, cheaper snuffle mats using less expensive and lesser quality fleece. For example, over Guest author Angela Tuzzo Pepper rescue dog who diedtime, small pill and lint balls will not form on the edges of the fabric (and end up in your dog’s stomach), which is what happens with cheaper, less expensive fleece. Additionally, the heavier the fleece, the longer the snuffle mat will last. The base of the mat is a thick rubber, so the mat is also less likely to be easily moved around versus rolling around like its treat ball counterpart.

The fleece is also a higher density, which means the fleece strips won’t easily flatten or become limp like other mats that use inferior fabrics. Better fleece means the curls keep their shape, providing a bigger surface area (i.e. more curls in which to hide food). This also means your dog must snuffle down even further to find his or her treats. More snuffle time will keep your dog busy for longer durations.

It’s also super easy to care for. Since I recommend using harder-type treats (e.g. kibble, broken up biscuits, training treats, etc.), the mat likely will not need to be washed frequently. However, as needed, it can be thrown in the wash (no bleach!) and dried in the dryer on low heat.

At the end of the day, whether you have a new puppy or senior dog, the end game is the same: a satisfied, less-stressed dog, equals a happier dog that can more easily settle and relax. I think it’s safe to say we all want that for our furry family members 😊

 

Guest author Angela Tuzzo and her 10 year old senior dog MotleyAngela Tuzzo is a technology PR specialist by day and owner/creator of SnuffleMutt snuffle mats by night. She is also “mom” to three border collies: Motley and Dazzle (age 10) and Chase (age 3).  She can be reached through her website www.snufflemutt.com

GingerLead dog support sling

GingerLead Dog Support Harness Review

GingerLead dog support sling

About a year and a half ago my dog Jack suddenly became paralysed. At 7:00am he was walking fine, by 3:00pm he lost the use of his back legs. Long story short, after spinal surgery he needed support until he regained the use of his legs, so I’m very familiar with the incredible benefits of a sling.  

Whether you have a dog who is disabled, has joint pain, balance issues, is recovering from back surgery or just needs a bit of extra support you’ll be amazed at how much life will improve, for everyone, when you give him that GingerLead dog support sling“lift.”

Today we’re going to be looking at the GingerLead Dog Support Sling. Knowing first-hand what a “must have” item it is, I wanted to share this with you.

Just to let you know, this item is available on Amazon Prime!

Get more information and buy now on Amazon.com >>>

Features and specifications

  • Six different sizes (x-small male/female; small male; small female; medium (male/female)–large male; large female; tall female)
  • Patented design integrates a padded belly sling with a leash and handle to maximize control, safety and comfort
  • The leash can be attached to the collar or a standard chest harness
  • Great for assisting dogs up and down stairs, in and out of a vehicle, for walks or just going potty
  • Perfect for dogs that have mobility issues for a variety of reasons including – arthritis – hip dysplasia – back or spinal injuries – rear leg paralysis – recovering from surgery
  • Adjustable for height
  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • Machine washable and dryable
  • “How to measure” information to help you buy the right size for your dog

Get further details and buy now on Amazon.com >>>

Customer reviews and scores

“This harness has been a Godsend! I have a 13 1/2 year old GSD with degenerative issues in his spine. At times he is weak in the back end and at times he is very awkward and wobbly and will occasionally fall. This helps him walk GingerLead dog support sling for a large femalemuch better with my assistance so he doesn’t fall. I would recommend this product to anyone. It is really well made and well designed, nice and padded, and designed perfectly for the male dog so he doesn’t pee on it while wearing it. Definitely worth the money. The greatest feature though is the leash part that I connect to his collar so the harness doesn’t slide backwards on him while walking.”

“This was a HUGE help after our Golden Retriever recently had knee surgery. It would have been almost impossible to help her without this support. It’s well-made and has the added bonus of a collar pick up to keep the dog from moving forward in the support. Well designed and made.”

“This item has added so much to my dog’s life. My dog is 15 years old, and her back legs aren’t very strong, causing her to collapse and have difficulty holding herself up and walking. Without the GingerLead I may have had to say goodbye to my best friend, because the quality of her life was so diminished. With the GingerLead we are able to negotiate stairs, go on walks, and she can go potty without falling over. I’m eternally grateful to the inventors of this product!”

“Our sweet boxer is 11 years old and has been diagnosed with myelopathy arthritis. He is slowly losing the use of his back legs. At some point, it became difficult for him to defecate, and he would fall over in the process. It was messy and also tough to watch. We tried two other harnesses that did not work. All of us were frustrated. Then we discovered this one, and it has changed our lives! It’s easy to put on and take off, and it allows us to support our boxer when he has to go. No more messes, and our sweet old boy has his dignity back. Some reviews say their dog pees on the harness, but I have not had that problem once, and we’ve been using it for about six weeks. Our boxer is about 85 pounds, and we bought the tall male sling size. Maybe those who experience issues with it bought the wrong size. I highly recommend this item!”

I found 503 customer reviews at the time of writing, and they had awarded the GingerLead Dog Support Sling 4.2 stars out of a possible 5 on average.

The customer reviews on Amazon are positive overall, but there were a few niggling points raised.

  • “It covered his male parts not allowing him to urinate.”
  • “Purchased to help my senior dog walk up and down the stairs it slides off of her….”
  • “My dog hates it.”

Not having more details the only thing I can say is that perhaps the user did not buy the correct size, place it correctly on their dog or use the attached leash to keep the sling from moving.

Due to the number of positive comments, how helpful the product has been for countless disabled and special needs dogs, and my own experience using a sling, it makes it very easy for me to recommend the GingerLead Dog Support Sling as well.

Buy now at Amazon.com >>>

Conclusion

In summary, the GingerLead Dog Support Sling is a highly rated product with amazing testimonials from people whose dogs’ lives have been significantly improved because of it.  

A dog stuck in the house all day can easily become bored and depressed. No matter the cause of your dog’s mobility issues, a sling means you no longer have to leave your dog at home while you’re out on family GingerLead dog support sling for small dogs adventures! It also enables him to enjoy some much needed physical exercise and mental stimulation.  

Once you’ve tried this sling please let us know the benefits you and your dog have experienced. You can post your reviews in the comments section below.

 

If you share your life with a senior dog I would like to invite you to join Senior Dog Care Club, my Facebook group for senior dog parents. There you will find lots of helpful tips and advice, a place to ask questions and share experiences. I look forward to welcoming you.

 

*There are affiliate links in this post, which means if you purchase anything I make a few pennies…literally. That money helps me help homeless animals through donations and fostering, as well as keeping this blog running.

 

MidWest iCrate Folding Metal Dog Crate

MidWest iCrate Folding Metal Dog Crate – Review

MidWest iCrate Folding Metal Dog Crate

If you have a dog, The MidWest iCrate Folding Metal Dog Crate is an indispensable tool you’re going to love…and rely on. The first time I ever needed a crate was when my dog Jack became paralysed. It was the only way to ensure he would remain still during his long recovery. Of the many I researched, one stood out above all the rest – the MidWest iCrate.

The MidWest iCrate Folding Metal Dog Crate is so versatile and loaded with great features, you’ll wonder why you waited this long to buy one.  

Let’s take a look at the features and you’ll know why I love it some much.

Get more information and buy now on Amazon.com >>>

Specifications

Available in 7 different sizes to accommodate any dog – 18”( 18L x 12W x 14H) – 22” (22L x 13W x 16H) – 24” (24L x 18W x 19H) – 30” (30″L x 19″W x 21″H) – 36” (36L x 23W x 25H) – 42” (42L x 28W x 30H) – 48” (48L x 30W x 33H)

Features

Single or double doors  

I love the option! The double door model has front and side entrance, so wherever you put it your dog will have easy access. I find having a second door makes it easier to reach something in the back of the crate, retrieve a toy, and clean.

Two slide-bolt latches

There are some dogs who should be called Houdini, due to their ability to escape what should be the inescapable. Two latches provide greater security, keeping your dog safe and where he belongs.

7 sizes

I’m a girl who likes choice and options, and when I find something I need and it doesn’t come in the size I want, it’s annoying. I don’t have that problem with a choice like this!

Divider panel

A divider panel is a serious bonus because it’s a money saver. It means that you don’t have to buy different size crates as your dog grows. Choose the one best suited for his full grown size, then use the divider to adjust the living space over time. The crate should be big enough for him to stand up and turn around in, but not too big that he will use an area to pee and poop in.

Rounded corners

I’ve banged myself on more than one sharp crate edge, as has my blind dog, so having rounded corners and fewer injuries is a plus.

Removable, washable leak-proof plastic pan

Accidents happen, and what better way to make clean up a breeze and protect your flooring, than with a removable washable pan.

Strong carrying handle

The last crate we had did not have a handle, and although we rarely moved it when we did it was awkward. The one we have now does have a handle and believe me, it’s easier!  

Rubber feet to protect floors

Dogs do move around in the crate so rubber feet can protect your floor from unsightly marks.

Foldable

Having a crate that folds is a massive selling point. What am I saying – I wouldn’t buy one that didn’t fold! Whether you’re using it for short periods or traveling with it, you want to be able to store it easily – under a bed, back of an SUV or even against a wall in a closet. It also means it sets up and folds down in seconds, with no tools required.

Made of strong and sturdy metal

Strength and durability are key when it comes to keeping your pets safe. I would hate to think what could happen if a dog were able to somehow chew or claw his way out.

1 year Manufacturer’s Warrranty

I like knowing a product comes with some sort of warranty should a problem arise. It’s also a good sign a company stands behind their product and cares about their customers.

Get further details and buy now on Amazon.com >>>

Benefits a crate has brought my dogs 

a crate was critical for Jacks recovery

Six months ago my dog Jack became paralysed. It was sudden, and long story short he had spinal surgery. As recovery was going to be a long, slow process, the neurologist advised us to get a crate so we did. As he had never been crate trained, and knowing him as well as I do (at least I thought I did!!), I was sure he wouldn’t go near it. Imagine our shock when he walked right in and stayed there…willingly. We put in a nice comfy bed and blanket, covered 2 of the sides and it became his new home.   

He slept in it for 5 months and it was such a critical part of his recovery.

Although he no longer needs it on a regular basis, we bought a smaller one to use when we go out. He’s not allowed to jump on and off furniture, but I know he will if we’re not home to supervise. He also uses it when he wants some alone time, especially when he wants to get away from our current foster dog.

My older dog Red enjoys it as well. Many times I’ve come into the living room to find she wandered in and settled down for a nap.

Customer Scores

I found 14,454 customer reviews at the time of writing and they had awarded the MidWest iCrate 4.6 stars out of a possible 5.

What people who have purchased the MidWest iCrate are saying

“Holy crate Batman! We ordered this crate for our 110 pound black lab with the hopes that it would be big enough. Well, I’m shocked by how HUGE this thing is. It’s literally a luxury suite for a dog. I could fit our lab, two Boston Terriers and all five of our kids in there at once😊I highly recommend this crate for anyone with a large dog!!”

“I’ve owned the 36″ crate for over 7 years and it still looks like new even after daily use and moves to 3 different states.”

 “I love this crate and it is such a great price!! This would normally be about $250 if I purchased this at a pet store! Double door and a divider!? It’s the perfect size as well!! Pros: Easy to store, Easy to set up and take down (folds nicely), Double doors! Divider, Durable, Amazing Price!, Nice Material – Cons: NONE! <3”

“The price point for this crate is awesome, and definitely worth it! The metal is sturdy, and hasn’t bent out of shape. I really loved that it came with a divider to make the crate smaller, it made potty training easier because she didn’t have the entire crate to herself when she was tiny. My friends have recently gotten puppies and I recommended this crate to them, and they love it as well! Definitely a product that will last a long time for you and your pup.”

Drawbacks

Some customers had issues with the quality and sturdiness of the crate, and felt a determined dog could get out, which did happen in some cases. While these are serious concerns, the majority of buyers were very satisfied with the quality and had no such experiences.  

For me, the thousands and thousands of satisfied customers coupled with my own experiences, means I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this product.

Buy now at Amazon.com >>>

MidWest iCrate folding metal crate

Conclusion

In summary, the MidWest iCrate Folding Metal Dog Crate is a very highly rated product, with most reviews loving the sturdiness, quality and flexibility. They love it can take their dog through the various life stages in safety and comfort, with the ease of folding it away for storage.

Great for housetraining puppies and dogs of all ages, dogs or cats recovering from injury or surgery, or as a safe and cosy den when they need quiet time in their own space.

Most real buyers of this product are extremely pleased with their purchase and would recommend it to others.

 

If in the UK please click on the flag to shop bigger and bolder

best vets glycan plus glucosamine

Best Vets Glycan Plus Glucosamine

best vets glycan plus glucosamine

Is this a post about Best Vets Glycan Plus Glucosamine or a product review?

Well, it’s a little of both I guess.

There is no shortage of “success” stories when it comes to how much glucosamine has helped both humans and animals. A search of the term will bring up an unlimited amount of information, not only about what it is and its benefits, but success stories from people who have seen their dogs almost transformed as a result.

Where once they had trouble getting off their bed due to the pain of arthritis, they were back to taking long walks and even being able to play.  

Not all glucosamine is created equal

As with so many products, and most definitely supplements, there are variations in terms of quality and price, and of course amounts of the active ingredient which is key.

Why Best Vets Glycan Plus Glucosamine?

best vets brand glycan plus glucosamine

I came across this product recently, noticed some great reviews and got curious. It turns out my friend Rosemary Dowell of German Shepherd Corner has been using it for her German Shepherd Charley who has hip dysplasia, and she loves it.

I asked if she would mind writing a short paragraph about the benefits she has witnessed, to add to the other testimonials I was planning on including. She’s had such success with this product, her enthusiasm led to her writing the only review I need (thank you Rosemary!!).

I’m confident only using this one review, because I have never met a pet parent who does as much research into products and treatments for their dogs as Rosemary does.  

Here it is

My German Shepherd has hip dysplasia and I’ve tried a bunch of Glucosamine products.  I’ve been using Best Vets Glycan Plus Glucosamine for several months with the best results.  I like this specific supplement for a few reasons.

Firstly, you start your dog on a loading dose for 4 weeks.  This builds up the product in their body producing fast results.  Believe me, when treating HD with natural supplements, small gains are encouraging.  After 4 weeks your dog goes onto a maintenance dose, which maintains the correct levels of the natural supplement in the body.

I’ve researched many, many natural ingredients and I find the Best Vets Glycan Plus Glucosamine to have the best ratios for optimum support.  And all ingredients are sustainably sourced and toxic free.  All the ingredients in Best Vet Glycan Plus Glucosamine are found naturally in the body.  So it provides support for the body to manufacture and replace low levels of Glucosamine, Chondroitins, Hydrolic Acid, Cetyl M and MSM.

Another important factor for me is that it’s shellfish free, again this is sustainable but more important, mercury free.  Also like some humans the vitamin C derived from Ascorbic Acid can be harsh on the stomach and intestines.  So it’s great that the Vitamin C found in this supplement is EsterC, which is less harsh.

As I write this my German Shepherd is in surgery for an FHO.  She continues to take the Best Vets Glycan Plus Glucosamine and I believe it will support her in her recovery from her hip surgery.

I can recommend this product to anyone who needs a natural joint supplement for their dogs.  Whether your dog is suffering from joint pain or even for a healthy dog.

My update

I wanted to let you know, Rosemary’s dog came through the surgery just fine, and is home recovering.

Is Glycan Plus Glucosamine right for your dog?

That’s not a question I can answer. What I can say is glucosamine (especially when combined with chondroitin) has helped relieve the suffering of so many pets with conditions such as arthritis and hip dysplasia. Make an appointment to speak with your vet as soon as possible. You owe it to your dog to make sure he is as comfortable and pain free as possible.    

 

Have you tried this brand, or any other glucosamine? What kind of results have you noticed in your dog? I’d love for you to share your experiences in the comments section below.    

 

snuggle safe pet bed microwave heating pad

Snuggle Safe Pet Bed Microwave Heating Pad Review

snuggle safe pet bed microwave heating pad

The Snuggle Safe Pet Bed Microwave Heating Pad seems perfect for this time of year, doesn’t it? I don’t know about you, but my dog Red really feels the cold, and isn’t happy about it! She wears a sweater in the house, has a blanket on her bed, and a heater where she sleeps. I’ve been considering a heating pad and definitely did not want one with cords and plugs. I like a lot of what I learned about this one, so I thought I would share these features with you.

Get more information and buy now on Amazon.com >>>

Features and Specifications

  • No cords
  • Heats up in the microwave in just a few minutes
  • Pad fits under your pet’s bed
  • snuggle safe microwave heating padProvides up to 10 hours of warmth
  • Contains a non-toxic Thermapol compound, which remains solid when heated according to directions
  • Great for traveling, including car rides in the winter
  • Made in the UK and on the American market over 16 years
  • To clean, wipe with a damp cloth or spray lightly with disinfectant then wipe dry  
  • Allow to cool completely before reheating
  • Incredibly versatile – perfect for dogs and cats of all ages, stray cats, feral cat colonies, hedgehogs, rabbits, humans…

Get further details and buy now on Amazon.com >>>

Customer Scores

I found 1,294 customer reviews at the time of writing and they had awarded the Snuggle Safe Pet Bed Microwave Heating Pad 4.3 stars out of a possible 5 on average.

What people who have purchased it are saying

“Fantastic product! I keep my heat a bit lower when I’m not home, so I heat these up for my dogs before I leave in the morning. They stay really warm all day and I don’t have to worry about chewed cords or electrical hazards. My dogs love them!”

“My skinny short-haired Chihuahua LOVES the Snuggle Safe Microwave Heat Pad. On a cold night when I put it in her bed she makes a little groaning happy noise – the human equivalent would be ahhhhh!!! I cover her with a baby blanket and she’s in heaven, stays warm all night. Worth every penny!”

“I have about 8 of these discs, and they are an absolutely fantastic product. We use it for stray cats that find their way to our porch in the winter. I fix up a cardboard box, put several layers of snuggle safe microwave heating pad pet bedblankets in it, and slip the heated Snuggle Safe disc in under the first blanket. Every cat we’ve ever used it with was in cat “heaven” when they curled up in that box and found it so warm. That little disc has helped several cats survive the winter.”

“I bought one to eliminate some of the electric cords we have snaking all over the house all winter from electric pet bed warmers. It is safe, reliable, and I can warm the communal dog bed all day while I’m at work without worrying about electrical fires, chewed cords, etc. Love the idea of using it under blankets in the back of the car when we all go on the road together!”

Drawbacks

Some users commented the pad was very hard and their pets wouldn’t lie on it, even when placed under a pillow or bed.

A few people have had issues with leaking contents when heating in the microwave.

Buy now at Amazon.com >>>

Conclusion

A heating pad that stays warm for 10 hours and has no cords to be concerned with, certainly is appealing.

The issue of the disc being too hard for some pets to sleep on would not deter me, simply because every pet is different, some will like an item, others won’t. My dogs’ beds are “cushy” snuggle safe pet bed microwave heating padenough I don’t think it would bother them.

Leaking contents is something to be aware of, but with such a low percentage of users having that problem, only you know how much that would influence your decision. I would be careful to follow heating directions very carefully.  

Most real buyers of this product are extremely pleased with their purchase and would recommend the Snuggle Safe Pet Bed Microwave Heating Pad.

 

Nina Ottosson dog brick activity toy

Nina Ottosson Dog Brick Activity Toy Review

Nina Ottosson dog brick activity toy

The Nina Ottosson Dog Brick Activity Toy is a wonderful way to provide mental stimulation to dogs of all ages, sizes and abilities. We are all aware of the importance of physical exercise, but less so of the need for mental stimulation. Puzzles, games and activity toys are great ways to challenge the mind, prevent boredom and help work off excess energy. I am looking for a new interactive toy for my dogs, and thought this Dog Brick Activity Toy might be a good choice. Here’s what I have found out.

Get more information and buy now on Amazon.com >>>

Perfect for dogs of all ages and abilities

The first thing that struck me was how perfect this toy is for any dog. From puppies to seniors all dogs can get bored, anxious and depressed with nothing to do, often resorting to destructive behaviours to relieve frustration.

If your dog is recovering from surgery or injury that is keeping him housebound or on limited activity, this will provide a much needed break. Not to mention an opportunity to release some pent up energy with no danger of harming himself or impeding his recovery.

Older dogs will benefit from the mental stimulation, keeping their brains working and possibly reducing the chance of getting dementia, or reducing the severity.

In my case Jack is recovering from spinal surgery, and although he’s now able to walk quite well he can’t overdo it, so mental stimulation is an important part of his day. My senior dog Red is blind with some dementia, so giving her a challenge she can complete using her nose is perfect.  

Adjustable level of difficulty

Not all dogs learn at the same pace or are challenged by the same things. What I like about this Dog Brick Activity Toy is the ability to adjust the level of difficulty, making it quite easy at the beginning, more challenging as your dog learns. A puzzle your dog can solve on the first try with no way of gradually increasing the level of difficulty, will be of no use.  

Features and Specifications

  • Your dog has to figure out how to get the treat you’ve hidden under the brick in each of the 12 treat chambers
  • The bricks slide to reveal the treat
  • Increase the level of difficulty by locking the brick in place with a plastic bone cover. The dog has to figure out how to push the bone out to move the brick
  • Comes with info sheet with tips on how best to use it
  • Made with BPA free, non-toxic, food safe plastic
  • Easy to wash
  • Good for wet and dry treats
  • Mix some canned dog food with water, pour some of the mixture into the slots, put it in the freezer to keep your dog busier or to cool off on hot days

Get further details and buy now on Amazon.com >>>

Customer Scores

I found 48 customer reviews at the time of writing and they had awarded the Nina Ottosson Dog Brick Activity Toy 4.3 stars out of a possible 5 on average.

What people who have bought this are saying

“This puzzle is awesome!”

“I’ve had “The Brick” dog toy for four years for my doggy. She has other puzzle toys, too, but The Brick is her favorite. My dog is nearly 70lbs yet this toy is sturdy enough for her snout.”

“If you’re afraid your pet isn’t smart enough, not to fear. This toy is geared for the lightbulb to the lighthouse.”

Drawbacks

One common theme among those who weren’t entirely pleased with this product was how easily their dog had gotten the treats. They were hoping the puzzle would be more challenging, and provide entertainment for a much longer period of time.

Buy now at Amazon.com >>>Nina Ottosson dog brick activity toy

Conclusion

As with almost everything, you’ll find people who love it and people who don’t. When it comes to puzzle toys it’s not uncommon for some dogs to find them easy to solve while others have more difficulty.

Environmental enrichment is critical for our dog’s wellbeing, so I recommend a variety of toys, puzzles and games to keep your dog’s interest, and the Nina Ottosson Dog Brick Activity Toy should be included.

I like that it will challenge Red and keep her busy, and it is important for me to know that regardless of physical ability any dog can benefit. Most real buyers of this product are extremely pleased with their purchase and would recommend this puzzle to others.

 

If in the UK please click on the flag to shop bigger and bolder