Find the list of products mentioned during April's Yappy Hour about caring for senior dogs below. Dr. Stephanie Austin and certified dog trainer Cathy Madson shared their favorite product picks for helping senior pets get around more comfortably, improve quality of life, and proactive measures such as supplements and fitness options.
If you missed this month's Yappy Hour, you can watch it and previous episodes here.
These boots are lightweight and water resistant, making them a good option for senior dogs who need some traction or paw protection while out on walks or indoors.
Pro Tip: If your senior dog is wearing these booties indoors for increased traction, punch a couple of holes in the bottom to provide airflow for their paw pads.
Dr. Austin mentioned Musher's Secret as a good paw pad balm to help senior dog's paw pad health and increase stability while navigating slippery floors.
The Help 'Em Up Harness is often sold through a veterinary office but can also be purchased online. Dr. Austin used this with her senior Lab to help her get up into the car, and Cathy used this with her Corgi mix, Mikey (pictured) after his back surgery.
There are lots of pet stair and ramp options depending on the height and portability needed for your dog's use. Cathy's dog, Sookie, has multiple of these Easy Steps around the home.
Cathy ordered multiple of these affordable carpet runners to create the "Corgi speedway" so her senior dog can play and run without slipping. Be sure to add sticky tape or use a rug pad to prevent them from sliding if your dog likes to run or make sharp turns while playing.
This snuffle mat is a great way to create an "indoor sniffari," slow down eating, and provide lots of mental stimulation for senior dogs. You can also make your own snuffle mat if you're feeling crafty — learn how here.
This "stuff-able" food toy is Cathy's favorite and is a great choice if you're introducing puzzle toys or interactive feeders to your senior dog, or if they are easily frustrated by more difficult puzzles.
The senior version of the Kong Classic is made from a softer rubber which is gentler on their teeth and gums.
Smear some of your dog's wet food or dog-safe peanut butter on this treat mat to create a soothing and enriching activity. Licking is naturally calming for dogs. Freeze before giving to your dog for a longer experience.
If your senior dog can't keep up or tires quickly while on long walks, hikes, or other excursions, that doesn't mean they can't still tag along!
This backpack is what Cathy uses with her Corgis. She loves it because her dogs can face the same direction as her and it's made to be well-balanced while out on walks or hikes.
For larger dogs that just won't fit in a backpack, this stroller allows them to go where you go and take in all the sights, sounds, and smells.
Here are the supplements that Dr. Austin and Cathy use for their senior dogs:
Cathy gives her senior Corgi these every morning for joint support.
Cathy adds fish oil to Sookie's meals to get in essential Omega-3's that have multiple benefits, including skin and coat health, heart health, and cognitive support.
Dasuquin is a well-known and popular joint health supplement.
There are fantastic virtual resources to learn about fitness and conditioning exercises you can do at home with your dog. Conditioning can help aging dogs by maintaining or building healthy muscle mass, strength, balance, and proprioception (body awareness). Consult with your veterinarian before beginning fitness or conditioning exercises at home with your dog. They can give you specific instructions regarding what exercises to begin with and even refer you to a rehab vet or certified canine fitness instructor.
Below are the product examples Cathy showed during Yappy Hour. FitPAWS and TotoFit are two of the most popular "dog-specific" conditioning product lines. These brands also offer varying sizes for larger breed dogs. However, often the human versions of these items are more affordable if you have a small or medium-sized dog.
This powder is added to your dog's food to support dental health.
This enzymatic toothpaste is great for senior dogs who aren't used to having their teeth brushed, as it works without the brushing.
This gel contains a potent enzyme that aids in the treatment of gingivitis and periodontal disease. It soothes and relieves inflamed gums.