Maizey

Keep your senior dog healthy with #BrightMind

This post is sponsored by Pro Plan BRIGHT MIND and the BlogPaws® Pet Influencer Network. I am being compensated to help enrich the lives of senior dogs, but A Foodie Stays Fit only shares information I feel is relevant to my readers. Pro Plan BRIGHT MIND is not responsible for the content of this article.

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Whether you’re a new reader or you’ve been around this joint for a while, you’ve probably noticed that Maizey is a huge part of my life. She’s my baby and has been with me through a lot of life changes.

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While she’s only 7, I’ve definitely noticed a lot of changes in her in the past year. She has a lot more gray on her face. She even has grays popping up on the top of her head and her back. She isn’t as hyper. (Even my mom commented how much calmer she was when she visited in April this year.) And even though I KNOW Maizey has a great life, I constantly feel like I’m not doing a good enough job as a dog mom, that I don’t walk her enough, play with her enough, or give her enough attention. I feel a lot of guilt that she doesn’t currently have a yard or even a patio to sunbathe on. So when she lays around, I feel like she is sad. But really, her lower energy levels and less interaction with me is a common sign of an aging dog.

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According to experts at Purina Pro Plan,  around age 7, dogs brains begin to change. The glucose metabolism in their brains slows down, which can affect memory, learning, awareness or decision-making. I’ve always done everything I can to keep Maizey healthy, but I feel a renewed focus on keeping her healthy for as long as possible. Perhaps it’s my own aging that is prompting part of this as well. 😉

Here’s how I’ve tried to improve her health over the past year or so:

  • Incorporated running back into her weekly routine
  • Giving her fish oil and a high-quality glucosamine for joint health
  • Getting a higher-quality dog bed to help support her joints
  • Not feeding her table scraps (unless it’s unseasoned meat)
  • Telling her she’s very pretty and smart. I used to tell her she was only kind of smart (which is kind of true), but I’m trying to build up her self esteem 😀
  • Experimenting with different brands and flavors of dry food to see if I notice any improvements in her appetite and/or behavior

Maizey has been a finicky eater ever since she was a puppy. She will sometimes go days without eating. She’s just not motivated by food. I’ve talked to my vet about this over the years, and she said I can add things to her food to try to get her to eat (yogurt, eggs, fish oil) and to try different brands of food every year or so to see if I can just mix things up to entice her to eat. I had her on one brand for a while that she seemed to really like, but she recently went back to her hunger-striking ways.

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So, when I was offered the opportunity to let Maizey (who is now technically a senior dog! gah!) try out Purina Pro Plan® BRIGHT MIND Adult 7+ ® dog food, I happily accepted. Their research shows that certain nutrition may promote alertness and mental sharpness in dogs over 7, and they developed Bright Mind with enhanced botanical oils to help promote memory, attention and trainability within 30 days. It contains EPA, an omega-3 fatty acid, and glucosamine that support joint health too.

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I’ve been feeding her the food for about 3 weeks and she does seem more playful and seems to want to be around me more, both of which make me VERY happy. Although, if Tommy is over, she’ll pick his lap over mine every time.

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She usually goes to sleep in her crate, but lately she’s been sleeping on the floor by my bed, and she also follows me around like she used to (my favorite is when she lays on the bath mat while I shower or leans on my legs while I cook in the kitchen :)). So, I do think her engagement with me has improved – yay! I haven’t noticed a huge difference in her intelligence, but I will keep telling her she is pretty AND smart anyway.

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If you want to try Purina Pro Plan BRIGHT MIND, you can buy it at PetSmart and you can learn more by following ProPlan on Twitter or Facebook.

Do you have a senior dog? What do you do to keep him or her healthy? I’d love to hear more tips!

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Kelli
    at

    I have a 6 year old german shepherd/collie mix and although she isn’t quite considered a senior yet she will be soon! I also give my dog fish oil in her food, and like Maizey, she doesn’t always eat every meal. I found that softening her food with water (since I thought maybe her teeth were hurting), and putting the fish oil in it makes her eat it more! I also occasionally put treats in a puzzle feeder for her! Its a great way to get her mind stimulated and to also give her a different activity for the day.

    • Reply
      Teri [a foodie stays fit]
      at

      Oh good idea on softening her food with water! I tried that this morning and she ate her food so much better! Thank you!!

      What puzzle feeder do you have? Maizey has never really been interested in them, but maybe I need a different one?

      • Reply
        Laura
        at

        I make bone broth, freeze it in ice cube trays so always on hand to soften her food. Can almost guarantee the food will go down that way 🙂

      • Reply
        Kelli
        at

        Yay! I’m glad that worked for her!

        The puzzle feeder is this one http://www.petsolutions.com/C/Dog-Puzzle-Toys/I/Smart-Toy-IQ-Feeding-Ball.aspx, my roommate had bought it so i’m not super sure if this is the website she got it from, This is the only one I could get my dog(Koda) to use, she even got smart and started putting it in her dog bed to roll it around to get the treats out instead of rolling it around the entire apartment lol….I put small treats like the Zukes ones inside so they will for sure fall out of the feeder. Hopefully Maizey will like it!

  • Reply
    Courtney
    at

    I can’t believe Maizey is considered a “senior” at age 7! My dog is only 2, but already I want to slow time down 😉

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