Functional Foods for Senior Dogs by Dr Elaine Cebuliak

Older dogs have a decreased ability to fight disease, creating the potential for health problems ranging from infections to cancer. These conditions are perilous enough to a younger body but can spell debilitation or death to an older animal. Providing the senior dog with specific functional foods can help enhance and balance the function of his/her immune system and improve resistance to disease.   After all, wholesome food is the key to improved immune function and resistance to disease!  
We recommend the following foods for seniors:
Apples: protect the heart, block diarrhoea, improve lung capacity, help cushion joints. The seeds of the apple do contain Vit B17, which has a small amount of cyanide, this has anticancer properties and is not poisonous in that quantity.

Bananas: protect the heart, strengthen bones, control blood pressure, block diarrhea.

Beans: lower cholesterol, combat cancer, stabilise blood sugar (feed in moderation due to lectins).

Beets: combat cancer, strengthen bones, protect the heart.

Berries: combat cancer, protect the heart, stabilise blood sugar, boost memory (but, do not feed strawberries to the dog).

Ginger– helps reduce inflammation in joints and aids digestion.

Coconut oil: supplies medium-chain triglycerides, supports healthy brain aging.

Cranberries: antioxidant, lower urine pH, coat the bladder lining. 

Curcumin (turmeric): powerful antioxidant, antimicrobial and antineoplastic (prevents or halts tumour development).

Fish and fish oil: excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, anti-inflammatory, protect the heart, combat cancer, support healthy immune system, help the joints, skin, kidneys and brain (avoid oils that can promote inflammation such as corn, safflower and canola oils) also can use hemp oil and krill oil.

Pomegranates: antioxidant, help buffer against cell damage, help cardiac oxygenation. 

Raw honey (raw, not pasteurized): aids digestion, increases energy (but not for puppies).

Sweet potatoes of all the brightly coloured yellow/orange variety: combat cancer, strengthen bones, improve eyesight.

Yoghurt (preferably from goat or sheep’s milk): strengthens bones, supports the immune system, supplies probiotics, aids digestion.  

For more information about Dr Elaine’s holistic animal clinic called “Animal Wellness” or to book a face to face or online appointment please visit:

Dr Elaine Cebuliak

Dr Elaine is a highly experienced holistic vet and pioneer of Animal Wellness in Brisbane. She also assists with many charitable projects in Australia and in Bali.

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