These last few weeks have really made me think about Del's health in a new way. After talking to his vet about castration and how it may prolong his life, I've been thinking of other ways of keeping him healthy.
One thing that worries me is his chance of getting arthritis and hip problems when he's older. Arthritis and hip problems are common in Rotties, so I want to do all I can to prevent these illnesses in Del. Obviously, I can't help the course of fate but it would put my mind at rest knowing that I'm doing everything I can to keep him healthy.
You may have read this post about Sassy. She's the reason we got Del. Unfortunately she's developed arthritis in her later life (she's nearly 10). She's on a daily painkiller to help with the pain.
Also, our friend Kate also has trouble with her back leg joints. It breaks my heart that little Kate is in pain from her achy joints (she'll be having an operation soon to combat the issue), and hate the thought of Del going through what Sassy and Kate go through.
With that in mind I've been doing some research into fish oil for dogs to see if we should consider giving it to Del as part of his diet. Us humans take fish oil for our achy joints and I believe that it is prescribed to some dogs to help with their ailments. It's also supposed to be good for their brains and circulation, and can also help with some dogs skin conditions.
However, the case for and against supplements/fish oils seems to be pretty even. I found a good article here about it which states that extra vitamins, minerals and oils can be good if you get the right advice tailored to your dog. However, given in the wrong quantities can be harmful, so it's all about being sensible and only giving your dog supplements that have been okayed by your vet.
This has also made me think about Del's diet. We feed him a complete dry dog food, which says it has all essential nutrients for dogs, but is this enough? Should I be giving him more fresh ingredients or stick to a supplement like fish oil for dogs?
What do you think? Are any of your breeds susceptible to certain illnesses? Do you think it's wise to try and prevent it from an early age with supplements and the like?
Would love to hear what everyone thinks.
*I'd never dream of introducing supplements to Del's diet without consulting the vet and I'd advise the same to any dog owner.