7 of the Best Supplements for Older Dogs

Filed in Dog Health by on September 2, 2020

best supplements for older dogsAre you searching for the best supplements for older dogs?

As our sweet pups get older, their bodies may need some extra help to manage the conditions of old age.

Some of these conditions are quite apparent in the form of weight gain, gray fur or cataracts.

Other signs of aging are less visible like decreased joint function, slower metabolism, or chronic disease.

Regardless of these changes, you can make adjustments to their nutrition to help their bodies cope.

Below you will find 7 of the best supplements for older dogs.

Note: Before changing your dog’s diet, consult your veterinarian. Not only can they determine the best supplements for your dog, but they can also provide the correct dosage based on their size, weight, and medical history.

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1. Glucosamine

Glucosamine dog supplementFirst on our list is glucosamine, a popular OTC supplement most often used as a remedy for arthritis. It’s used in the treatment of dogs, horses, and even humans!

Glucosamine can help ease the symptoms of other conditions in dogs, such as hip dysplasia, spinal disc injuries, or pain from joint surgeries. It also serves as a preventative supplement for performance dogs to keep their joints in prime condition.

Glucosamine is naturally produced in your dog’s body and found in the cartilage and synovial fluid, which is the fluid around their joints.

As your dog ages and their physical processes slow down, so does the production of glucosamine. This leads to more fragile, achy joints and discomfort for your furry friend, all things that a glucosamine supplement can help remedy.

Your dog may experience some side effects when they first start taking glucosamine, such as increased thirst, fatigue, or insomnia.

In extreme cases, your dog may exhibit signs of an allergic reaction – also a good reason to keep your vet in the loop as you try new supplements!

One popular glucosamine supplement for senior dogs is PetHonesty’s Multivitamin with Glucosamine Soft Chews. It’s a good source of glucosamine and nine other beneficial vitamins and minerals too. Plus, they are nice and soft, perfect for an aging dog whose teeth may not be what they used to be.

I also review senior dog foods that contain glucosamine in another blog post. Keep in mind the dosage of glucosamine may be less in dog foods vs. the supplements.

2. Chondroitin

chondroitin dog supplementChondroitin is another compound found in a dog’s synovial fluid and cartilage, much like glucosamine. The two compounds work closely together to keep your dog’s joints healthy and stable.

Still, chondroitin specifically works to maintain elasticity in the cartilage, making sure your dog’s joints have plenty of shock absorption.

Chondroitin benefits dogs who suffer from arthritis, degenerative joint disease, or degenerative disk disease.

It’s most often paired with glucosamine in supplement form since the two compounds have similar benefits and effects on cartilage. Even without an official diagnosis, chondroitin can reduce joint pain and increase mobility in your senior dog’s limbs.

While chondroitin can be synthesized from glucosamine, the only dietary source is found in other animal cartilage and is labeled ‘chondroitin sulfate.’

When shopping around for a supplement for your dog, verify if the supplement was derived from bovine cartilage rather than shark cartilage.

Harvesting shark cartilage threatens the delicate ecosystems of the ocean, while bovine cartilage is more sustainable and readily available!

One popular choice for chondroitin is Cosequin Maximum Strength Joint Supplement  for your sweet senior dog.

Cosequin is one of the most highly-respected brands in joint supplements for dogs, with a powerful combination of chondroitin, glucosamine, and other beneficial compounds.

3. Antioxidants

antioxidants dog supplementAntioxidants come with a wide range of benefits, but what exactly are they?

Simply put, they inhibit oxidation. Oxidation is the same process that causes fruit to brown and metal to rust – it breaks down these materials with things called ‘free radicals.’

The role of antioxidants is to attack these free radicals before they do any major damage and remove them from the body.

This is a perfectly normal process that happens in and around you (and your dog) every day.

However, without an antioxidant-rich diet, free radicals unleash damage on your cells without anything to keep them in check.

Eventually, this damage can lead to conditions such as cataracts, blindness, respiratory disease, heart disease, or even cancer.

Supplementing your dog’s diet with antioxidants increases their immune system’s function, keeps inflammation at bay, and staves off potential chronic diseases.

They are also great for eye health, keeping their vision sharp and fighting off blindness or cataracts.

One popular antioxidant product is Turmeric Chews from  Amazing Nutritionals with high ratings on Amazon.

4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

omega 3 dog supplementOmega-3 fatty acids can reduce inflammation in dogs with arthritis, and therefore, may reduce their associated pain.

While certain fats can be made by the body, omega-3 fatty acids must be obtained through diet by food or supplements.

The three main omega-3 fats consist of Linoleic acid, Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

DHA and EPA specifically have been shown to slow the spread of certain cancers.

They can also boost your dog’s heart and kidney health, increase their immune system’s function, and even reduce anxiety and depression.

As a bonus, fatty acids are great for their skin and coats, so their fur may become soft and shiny after a few weeks.

When you start shopping around for an omega-3 supplement, remember to check its EPA and DHA content. This Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Supplement is high in both, and it’s easy to give to your dog. Simply tuck one soft gel into your dog’s food, or puncture the capsule and pour the oils inside over their food.

You also want to make sure any omega-3 supplement is purified to remove contaminants such as mercury and that it is preserved to prevent it from going rancid. I also wrote a post on the benefits of Omega-3 in dogs.

5. Hormone Additives

hormone dog supplementBelieve it or not, hormone supplements are not just for dogs who have recently been spayed or neutered. Hormone balance is vital for our older pups as well.

Over time, the endocrine system begins to falter or break down, leading to issues like anxiety, excessive stress, even incontinence.

Additionally, your dog is exposed to many harsh chemicals in their lifetime, from food, eating grass with chemicals on it, or skincare and coat care products.

These environmental factors can hinder hormone production over time, so your dog may need some help regulating their hormone levels again.

Hormone supplements balance your dog’s cortisol levels, helping them manage stress and anxiety. Some contain beneficial estrogen to support metabolism and promote bladder health.

As a whole, hormone supplements can rebalance your dog’s entire endocrine system, helping them regulate many functions of their bodies.

Dr. Mercola Canine Hormone Support is a popular choice for hormone supplements. It’s made from natural ingredients and doesn’t have any preservatives, artificial colors, or fillers.

6. Bladder Control Additives

Bladder control dog supplementAs much as we love our precious pups, we can all agree that we don’t love cleaning up after them – especially in the house.

But like it or not, bladder control does become an issue for many senior dogs.

That’s why bladder control supplements can be a huge help.

Most bladder control supplements work to reinforce the bladder walls in your dog to help them hold it until they can get outside.

The supplements also help your dog to empty their bladder completely when they go, rather than emptying some outside and the rest inside.

While ingredients vary in bladder control supplements, the most common ones include cranberry extract, yam extract, and pumpkin seed powder.

Nutri-Vet Bladder Control also contains a combination of herbs to help your dog keep it all together. They come in a chewable tablet form, easy to slip into your dog’s usual food.

7. Multivitamin Additives

Multivitamin dog supplementsMaybe your senior dog is not exhibiting specific symptoms or conditions, but you want to set them up for a long and happy life.

A general multivitamin may be just the thing you need at this stage.

Zesty Paws Multivitamin Bites gives you the best of all the supplements we just mentioned.

These soft bites give your dog a healthy dose of glucosamine and chondroitin to keep their joints mobile and ache-free.

They also contain plenty of cod liver, giving your pup all the omega-3’s he needs for increased immune system function and a beautiful, shiny coat.

In addition to these prime vitamins and minerals, the bites contain plenty of vitamin A and antioxidants to keep their eyes healthy and functional for years to come.


These 7 supplements for older dogs are extremely popular among dog owners.

With the right supplement, you can improve the well-being of your dog in his or her senior years.

Supplements may help with pain, anxiety, or be taken as a preventative measure for certain conditions.

Keep in mind that every dog is different, so speak to your vet before giving them any supplement.

Let us know your experience with these supplements or any others you have had success.

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