Pros:Good nutrition for older dogs is important; Hill's Science Diet has really helped our PUG!
Cons:Might be a tad expensive, but worth it for man's best friend.
The Bottom Line: Your dog's energy and health will benefit from Hill's!
(Thanks go to LadysMom for adding this item to the database!)
I took my pug to the Vet recently because I noticed that her hearing and sight didn't seem to be quite what they used to be. After all, she is pushing 10 years of age and that, apparently, in dog years, is 70!
Well, our veterinarian, Dr. Stuart, did confirm that our pug is getting some clouding (cataracts) in her eyes. He told me that for senior dogs (AKA geriatrics) there is a good brand of dog food known as HILLS. He told me to do a combination of things to help slow down her aging process. The reason that I am writing this review is because what he told me was eye-opening. You would think that as a pet owner for many years, I would have known most of this, but I did not, and his advice was very practical and full of common sense.
Dr. Stuart also said that with good care and proper nutrition, she could live up to 16 years. He recommended Hills Science Diet Prescription Canine t/d for good nutrition and to help keep her teeth clean as well. Hill's Prescription Diet seems to be working well for our pug. We bought the Hill's Science Diet Prescription Canine t/d 4013, directly from our Vet. (It is is sold exclusively through veterinarians.) Hill's Science Diet Prescription Canine t/d claims to be committed to "nutritional excellence and innovation". It is recommended for dogs with certain health conditions and for aging dogs therefore, is authorized for sale only by vets. It is formulated with the following benefits.
"Unique kibble gently scrubs the teeth clean, reduces plaque, stain and tartar accumulation, helps maintain healthy gums and great taste. Hill's mission statement is to help enrich and lengthen the special relationship between people and their pets."
The actual size of the HILL's Science Diet Prescription Canine t/d are fairly large and round-ish, similar in size to a marshmallow (but not as soft, of course!). My dog immediately loved them and has no problem getting her little mouth around them! She seems to have encountered no problem whatsoever in chewing them up.
Additional Suggestions from our Veterinarian:
The Doctor said we could choose to supplement a senior canned dogfood of our choice if we wanted to. Prior to this advice and for some years, we had been feeding her a dry lamb and rice combination dog food. He suggested we now mix the two and feed her in the morning and give her a much smaller meal in the evening. We do this to "reward her" after she has done her duty after her night-time walk.
But the doctor gave me some additional advice about our Pug's care that surprised me. He said that we should start to supplement her diet not only with Senior Vitamins ("GeriZyme", manufactured by NutriTech, 1-800-658-5343, www.gerizyme.com), but also with raw vegetables and meat and egg. He basically said that "anything that is good for people is good for dogs". I had always believed that dry dog food was sufficient, but apparently this is not enough, at least for senior dogs. He personally advocates taking a holistic approach to dog's nutrition, so we've decided to follow his advice.
Now our dog goes crazy waiting while I prepare her "breakfast" meal! She actually dances in circles in anticipation of her Hill's food!
Dr. Stuart recommends what he calls "kitchen medicine" for your pet. That is, common items found in most households can help your pet tremendously.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
My vet recommended a teaspoonful of vinegar or apple cider vinegar as a great way to deodorize a dog's breath. I like my vet's ideas using common home remedies as alternative solutions to expensive medications.
Also recommended was that we give our little pug bits of chopped up raw carrot. He said carrots REALLY are good for the eyes and since she is beginning to have the clouding (cataracts), he said it would be great for her eyes. There are certain veggies that are preferable to give dogs. Onions should definitely be avoided. She jumps around when I cut up small pieces of raw carrot and/or broccoli stems (although for some reason unknown to us, she doesn't care for zucchini!).
[GARLIC! (UPDATED: 12/31/06) There are varying reports on whether or not garlic is actually beneficial or harmful to dogs. Please ask your vet before feeding garlic to your dog.]
I had heard once before that garlic might be good for treatment of fleas. Our vet confirmed this. Adding a pinch of garlic powder to her food would help keep those itchy pests away from her and that sounds good to me. I've definitely noticed much less scratching.
It's just been a few weeks since we were at the Veterinarian's office, but our little pug seems to have more energy than ever. Her black coat is more shiny and many people comment on how great she looks. We never give our little pug scraps from the table and we never feed her the junk food, especially chocolate, that some people consume! They can wreak havoc on your dog's little system. Maybe the advice we received will help slow down her aging process too.
Hope this practical advice of a combination of Hill's Science Diet Prescription Canine t/d and of other "good stuff" will help you take care of your aging dog.
Thanks for reading. Your dog will thank you too.
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