We have compiled some of the most common questions regarding our products, our policies, and some useful links to valuable information on how to better care for your mature or senior dog.

Joint Health in Mature and Senior Dogs

All the major joints in your dog’s body comprise two bones and a thick liquid lubricant called synovial fluid. Every time your dog moves, the two bones move, press, and rub lightly against one another. This process occurs hundreds of times a day. These bones are protected against direct mechanical friction by a thin protective layer of cartilage. The cartilage and the synovial fluid work together to keep the joints healthy and moving without significant friction or wear and tear.

However, the wear and tear of ageing do not need to decrease your dog’s quality of life. Keep reading for suggestions on keeping your mature or senior dog healthy, comfortable, and mobile into their golden years.

You know your dog best – if you think they are under distress, talk to your veterinary team.

Once the cartilage protecting the bones in your dog’s joints thins or fractures, the joint swells, and movement becomes more difficult and often painful. Several signs could suggest your mature dog has joint-related mobility problems:

▸ Refusing or avoiding climbing up or down the stairs.

▸ Struggling to stand up after sleeping or resting.

▸ Avoiding jumping in and out of your car or your sofa.

▸ Limping or dragging a paw or leg.

▸ Unusually slow and wobbling walk.

These symptoms are signs that your dog is suffering physical discomfort. Talk to your veterinary team about how you can help alleviate your mature or senior dog’s discomfort and restore their mobility.

If you think your dog may be suffering physical discomfort, work with your veterinary team to rule out any underlying diseases or medical concerns.
There are things you can do at home to ensure your older dog is comfortable:

Ensure their bed is large enough. Your dog may have slept curled up when they were younger, but as they age, they might find stretching out more comfortable. Make sure they have a large enough bed that they can be comfortable in any position.

Ensure they have beds in multiple locations. Providing several soft, comfortable beds gives your dog options, especially if their primary bed is up a flight of stairs.

Get a portable, foldable ramp for the car. A ramp can help your dog get in and out of your car safely and easily.

Elevate their food and water. Your ageing dog might have neck stiffness or pain. Having raised bowls will allow your dog to eat and drink more comfortably.

Help them up. Use a harness to help your dog get up from lying down.

Include Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, glucosamine, zinc and vitamin E, into their diet. Our Hike Again formula is formulated with the critical nutrients and compounds required in maintaining healthy joints, cartilage, and synovial fluid.

We created our Hike Again formula after a thorough review of a wide range of scientific literature, peer-reviewed clinical trials, and veterinary information. The ingredients in Hike Again provide some of the nutrients and naturally occurring compounds critical to maintain and repair cartilage, ligaments, and other connective tissues in joints. Hike Again also helps maintain normal levels of synovial fluid, which are essential for proper lubrication and shock absorption in joints. Don't take our word for it: these health claims have been reviewed and approved by Health Canada.

Hike Again's proprietary formula includes a rich and stable blend of Omega 3 fatty acids with standardized amounts of eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) acids, as well as hyaluronic acid. These specific compounds provide well-documented nutritional support to maintain a normal range of mobility, joint and ligament health, as well as normal lubrication of major joints in the body of your mature dog.

Our Hike Again formula also contains:

Sodium hyaluronate (Hyaluronic acid), sodium hyaluronate, a salt form of hyaluronic acid (HA), is a clear, viscous liquid naturally produced by your dog’s body. Its primary function is to retain water around the joint to promote regular lubrication and shock absorption. Older dogs tend to have lower concentrations of HA in their joints, which may contribute to a loss of flexibility and decreased range of motion.

Glucosamine sulphate, an essential building blocks for healthy tendons, ligaments, cartilage and synovial fluid.

MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane), a natural source of organically active sulphur, which plays a fundamental role in cellular and metabolic functions. MSM, together with glucosamine sulphate, helps to support the normal functioning of joint tissue and cartilage in older dogs.

Hydrolyzed Collagen Type II, a naturally produced protein that is present in a third of all the proteins in your dog’s body. As dogs age, their bodies produce less collagen, requiring supplementation for optimal health. The hydrolyzed collagen in our Hike Again formula is always sourced from chicken cartilage, rather than shark fins, as commonly found in other products.

Vitamin E, an essential component of a healthy diet for senior dogs, plays a particularly important role helping to maximize the benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids. Vitamin E is also a powerful antioxidant, this is, it may help to reduce the cellular damage caused by free radicals that could interfere with the normal health and function of joint tissue.

Pumpkin Seed Meal a nutrient- and energy-dense ingredient containing up to 49% fat and 30% protein. Pumpkin seeds are also a natural powerhouse of Omega 6 fatty acids, dietary fiber, antioxidants, Magnesium, Manganese, Iron, Phosphorus and Vitamin B3 (Niacin).

Immune and Digestive Health in Mature and Senior Dogs

As dogs age, their immune system weakens and could potentially become more susceptible to harmful pathogens and infections. Clinical research has shown that aging dogs have:

▸ A reduced ability to promptly activate and modulate how well the immune system reacts to pathogens (also known as the immune response).

▸ A reduced ability to detoxify and repair cells, a process often referred to as oxidative stress.

▸ A reduced ability to produce antioxidants which are the most important biological compounds against oxidative stress.

▸ Difficulty absorbing and metabolizing nutrients.

This is why a proper diet and supplementation is crucial in supporting the normal immune function and health of you mature or senior dog.

The thin membrane covering your dog’s intestines is their first line of defence in their immune system. This thin layer is also responsible for absorbing most of the nutrients, minerals, antioxidants, and other biologically active compounds present in your dog’s food. However, the gut’s ability to absorb nutrients and defend against pathogens decreases with age. Adding clinically proven probiotics, like DE111, a patented strain of Bacillus subtilis included in our Shield Again formula, antioxidants and beta-glucan can support gut health and proper immune function.

Your dog undergoes many physiological changes as they age. As a result, organ and tissue function may become impaired, resulting in a reduced ability to prevent and repair cellular damage. This puts your dog at a higher risk for oxidative stress, a process impairing their ability to detoxify and repair cells.

Antioxidants are the best defence against oxidative stress. Unfortunately, as dogs age, their production of antioxidants significantly decreases.

Adding a combination of high-quality antioxidants to your older dog’s diet is essential in promoting and maintaining a healthy immune response. Shield Again includes a robust blend of antioxidants sourced from superfoods like blueberries and pomegranate, vitamins C and E and alpha-lipoic acid, a powerful antioxidant that helps regenerate other antioxidants.

We created our Shield Again formula after thoroughly reviewing a wide range of scientific literature, peer-reviewed clinical trials, and veterinary information. The ingredients in Shield Again support the normal function and health of your dog’s immune and gastrointestinal systems. As with all our other formulas you don't need to take our word for it: these health claims have been reviewed and approved by Health Canada.

Shield Again is rich in Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, particularly Eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) acids, which support immunity in older dogs.

Shield Again is also rich in alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), a powerful antioxidant that works outside and inside the cell. ALA is also able to help regenerate other antioxidants. Additionally, a blend of antioxidants from blueberries and pomegranate is also included in our Shield Again formula to help your dog combat oxidative stress.

The proprietary Senior Immunity Omega Blend, included on our Shield Again formula, is the first brand of Veterinary Health Products in Canada containing DE111 Probiotic, a patented strain of Bacillus subtilis. DE111 Probiotic has been tested in randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials demonstrating significant effect modulating a positive gastrointestinal and Immunomodulatory response in healthy dogs and humans.

Our Shield Again formula also contains:

L-Carnitine, a critically important compound that supports maintaining cell energy needed to fight disease and repair cellular damage. It also facilitates the use of the Omega 3 fatty acids present in our formula.

Beta-Glucans, a group of active compounds found in the cell walls of baker's yeast, that have been shown to stimulate immune responses in older dogs. Clinical studies prove that adding these active cell wall components to a dog's diet can improve overall immune response.

Pumpkin Seed Meal a nutrient- and energy-dense ingredient containing up to 49% fat and 30% protein. Pumpkin seeds are also a natural powerhouse of Omega 6 fatty acids, dietary fiber, antioxidants, Magnesium, Manganese, Iron, Phosphorus and Vitamin B3 (Niacin).

Cognitive Function And Brain Health in Mature and Senior Dogs

Recent studies suggest at least one-third of dogs over the age of 8 will develop age-related cognitive changes. These changes can be the result of many underlying issues, including:

▸ Accumulation of harmful proteins in the brain that are typically “flushed away” from brain tissue when dogs are younger

▸ Oxidative stress of the brain tissue and blood vessels

▸ Reduced functioning of mitochondria in the brain.

Behaviour changes are often the first sign of underlying cognition problem. Many of the changes that we may attribute to our dogs getting older, like slowing down, being less interested in walks, or less playful, can be signs of an underlying health problem. 

There are specific changes in behaviour of mature and senior dogs that could suggest brain or cognitive health problems, these might include:

▸ Your dog seems disoriented or confused in a familiar setting.

▸ Your dog has become grumpy, defensive, or less patient (these could also be signs of underlying physical discomfort).

▸ Their sleep patterns are disrupted, and your dog seems more restless at night.

▸ Pacing, wandering, or vocalization, particularly at night.

▸ Your previously housetrained dog may start having accidents in the house.

If you think your mature or senior dog is having physical or mental difficulty, please consult with your veterinary team.

Please remember that if your mature dog shows signs of cognitive problems, the first thing to do is to consult your veterinary team. They are your best resource for advice and information and are your allies in your dog’s healthcare.

There are three primary ways you can support your aging dog:

1) Provide a diet or supplement rich in antioxidants, Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, vitamin E, and amino acids like L-carnitine.

2) Provide as much social and mental enrichment as possible, including:

▸ Adding or maintaining regular exercise.

▸ Ensure regular social interactions with other dogs and people.

▸ Look for toys and food puzzles that require focus and coordination.

3) Consider additional supplements that provide:

▸ Phosphatidylserine

▸ High levels of Omega 3 fatty acids with standardized content of eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) acids.

▸ A blend of antioxidants and amino acids like L-Carnitine and L-Arginine.

▸ Vitamins B6, B12, C and folic acid.

Our Sharp Again formula provides ingredients that support and maintain healthy functioning of your dog's brain and cognitive status (you don't need to take our word for it: these health claims have been reviewed and approved by Health Canada).

Sharp Again's proprietary blend is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids with standardized content of eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) acids, which are both recognized by veterinary professionals as an excellent support for normal brain and cognitive health and function in older dogs,

The Sharp Again formula is rich in antioxidants and amino acids including L-Carnitine which is fundamental in facilitating Omega 3 fatty acids to sustain energy production at the cellular level.

Sharp Again also contains phosphatidylserine, a naturally occurring fatty compound and a vital part of intercellular communication in the brain, which is known to decrease as your dog ages.

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