have very specific health issues that benefit from various kinds of therapy, including massage
The still-small but growing senior pets
supplies sector has begun to address this by introducing a variety of new products to the market.
Quaker Pet Group's Silver Tails Senior Pet Products
, whose pet dental products and mature dog appropriate chew toys I reviewed
, has come out with some nifty pet massage devices for older dogs that they sent me to review. (These are great for cats, too.)
In a related development, the company also sent me a sample of Senior Wellness Chews Hip & Joint and Flavor Enhancing Supplement Powder for Adult Dogs.
Below are my findings.
Older Dogs Massage Therapy Tools, Therapuetic Chews and Supplements
Like people, older dogs (and pets in general) are more prone to muscle and joint issues; arthritis; hip ailments (namely dysplasia); and other age-related physical problems. And like people, they benefit greatly from massage. This helps to relieve muscle and joint soreness and tension, increases blood flow for better circulation, plus relieves stiffness associated with arthritis.
With this in mind, Silver Tails offers two pet massage devices specifically designed for older dogs and cats: the Hand-Held Massager
and Infrared Massager
The Hand-Held model is a well-designed manual device made of sturdy plastic, with a flat, oval shaped end that has raised round nubs. It fits securely over a person’s hand for ease of motion, and enables one to maintain physical contact with a pet. The handle is also retractable, so that it fits any person’s hand.
The Infrared device, which requires electrical charging, is really great. It has two heads, a small and large one, and three settings: small head heat, heat and massage and large heat heat, and gentle vibrating action.
For added safety, the device will not operate when it’s plugged into the charger. My 'Assistant Editor' Tries Out the Pet Massage Devices
As part of my review, I tested these products on Omar
. He immediately loved the Hand-Held Massager. He enthusiastically rolled around on the floor so that I could reach all of his sides, and was purring to beat the band.
It took him a while longer to warm up to the Infrared Massager. At first, he backed away because he was a little fearful of the mild vibrating noise. But I reintroduced it to him by letting him slowly investigate and sniff it before turning it on. He then thoroughly enjoyed it, and promptly fell peacefully asleep.
Meanwhile, I later used it on myself, to alleviate some muscle soreness in my shoulders after too vigorous of a yoga workout. I am happy to report that it works for people, too!
Overall, I think that these pet massage devices are excellent additions to the older pets market.
Some More Older Dogs Products of Note
The Silver Tails dog chews and supplement powder were formulated especially for the needs of older dogs.Photo courtesy of Alissa Wolf
As mentioned earlier, Silver Tails also sent me a sample package of Senior Wellness Chews Hip & Joint formula and a jar of Flavor Enhancing Supplement Powder for Adult Dogs.
The pet supplement
market is, in fact, steadily growing. This is especially true for the older dogs and cats sector, as senior pets may suffer from vitamin deficiencies due to appetite changes and other factors that occur with advanced age.
The chews are designed to address hip and joint health, with glucosamine and chondroitin as the main ingredients. These supplements are said to be beneficial for joint health, particularly for pets (and people) who suffer from arthritis. These are also soft, easy to chew and wheat free, which is great for older dogs that may have dental
issues and food allergies.
The package does clearly state that these should be administered with caution to dogs that have a history of clotting disorders, diabetes, hyperglycemia, urinary tract stones and shellfish allergies, so these are not for every dog. But at least the cautions are made clear.
The Flavor Enhancing Supplement Powder is a vitamin- and mineral-rich formula designed to be sprinkled over a dog’s food. It has a beef liver flavor to entice a dog to eat. This is a great way to get older dogs, which oftentimes have diminished appetites, to eat more.
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy