Linda Arndt ~ Canine Nutritional Consultant

Blackwatch Senior Canine Feed Program - ALL BREEDS

Pickles 3yrs with her buddy Grandma Liza - 12 1/2 yrs
and our Sheltie, Confetti 12 yrs


SPECIAL NEEDS FOR SENIORS: Teeth, Eyes, Ears, Bladder Control.....

Seniors have special needs when it comes to day to day care. One of the problems is the need to keep their teeth clean and tarter free. Research shows that tarter free gums can extend their life by 3 - 5 years. There is a direct correlation between gingivitis, infected gum line and heart problems. This has to do with different pathogenic bacterias that can infect the muscle and lining of the heart. The good news - no, the great news is - we no longer have to put a dog under risky anesthesia to clean their teeth. We now have other methods - safe holistic methods of removing plaque and tarter from our seniors and young dog's teeth. Petz Life Spray or Gel and Fuzzy Plaque Zappers powder which goes in the drinking water works great and it's all natural.

This program is a comprehensive and consists of several major components to support the needs of the Senior dog - all breeds and sizes. These can be purchased in a comprehensive kit offered by www.

For more information go to Senior Support Kit#7.

For incontinence issues with seniors I highly recommend a product by Pet Naturals called Bladder Support.

This kit also includes additional immune support with Colostrum and DMG, and Co-Q-10 for heart, and much more. The other kit you can use for Seniors which is a more basic kit is called the CORE4 Kit#39 which includes a whole food vitamin/mineral/probiotic product, dietary enzymes, OxyDrops and a joint support supplement.

1. Dog Food - Natural/Holistic Super Premium - kibble and canned
2. Filling N The Wholes - beneficial bacteria - Digestive enzymes & more
3. Nzymes - Dietary enzymes - missing in all commercial foods - antioxidants
4. Ox-E-Drops - help keep proper pH in the gut
5. Liquid Health Glucosamine with HA - joint support
Optional Variety - canned meats - raw options - fruits and vegetable

Where To Purchase Products

1. DOG FOOD - Precise Holistic Complete Senior - locate retailer at this website. The only other acceptable senior food on the market, if you can't locate PHC Senior would be NutriSource Senior - both are 26% protein/10% fat the ideal combination for seniors to hold muscle and not put on weight.

2. Filling N The Wholes - beneficial bacteria, digestive enzymes, and more!

3. NZYMES - dietary enzymes - in chewable Pet Treat or Granular (goes further)

4. OX-E-DROPS - antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungus - keeps pH of the gut healthy

5. Liquid Health Level 5000 - joint support supplement (glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM and herbs). www.Liquid Health Level 5000 Joint Supplement

6. FOR VARIETY ADD -For a safe, balanced raw option use Honest Kitchen dehydrated raw - info below.

Section B.

Description of Supplements - Who - What - Why?

1. Food - Kibble and Canned

26% Protein 10% Fat

Why This Senior?......I helped develope this food based on years of watching giant breed senior dogs have to be put down long before they were ready to go because they had lost muscle mass and energy due to inferior senior foods.

Most senior foods are low protein which means high carbs, they are low fat which means they have awful coats, their energy levels drop and they stop moving and become sedentary and fade away before your eyes. The lower calories should make them lose weight but the high grains in these foods make them gain weight. To top it off most senior foods have minimum nutrition when in fact Seniors, like human seniors, need OPTIMAL vitamins/minerals in order to live energetic, productive lives.

I decided to put a stop to this problem in the pet food industry. Years ago when I developed the Eagle Senior (when it was owned by Eagle, prior to 2009) it was the only food on the market that was appropriate for senior dogs of any kind. Then I was provided input into the Nutri Source Senior formula years later and in 2010 developed the Precise Holistic Complete Senior food for ALL BREEDS - this whole line won the Best Pet Food Award in 2010 by the Pet Business Industry Magazine!

Note: senior dogs with diabetes should never be fed a high carbohydrate diets so this Senior is an ideal food for that as well, due to the levels of protein/fats in relation to whole grain carbohydrates (which have a lower glycemic index). Is it ok to feed a grain free food to a senior, yes as long as it is moderate in 24-26% protein and moderate fat 10-14% range - no potatoes please, they aggravate arthritis - use a grain free brand that has peas or chick peas as the carb source. (NutriSource has one, Petcurean and Precise will in the near future.)

Five specific things are needed for older dogs:

  • Digestible protein - which exchanges muscle mass for fat
  • Higher protein - for muscle mass to support the bones
  • Multiple quality proteins - to hold muscle - the heart is the biggest muscle in the body.
  • No less than 10% fat so they still have good coats, but controlled for weight issues.
  • Joint support nutrition - Glucosamine HCL and Yucca

We have found a high quality multiple "usable" protein source, maintains muscle mass and energy levels so the geriatric dog will exercise and improve their joint flexibility. Their energy level increases and a feeling of overall wellness is evident on this food, and they do not act as if they are staving all of the time, because they are being provided with the proper nutrients for the aging dog.


Here is my backup brand of pet food if you can not locate precise:

List of Better Foods Criteria

2. Dietary Enzymes - in pet treats or granular (multiple pets)

Nzymes - is Dietary Enzyme in a chewable healthy pet treat or in granular form. Nzymes put the "living component" back into a cooked, processed, stored dog food. Enzymes are heat sensitive and lost in processing/cooking of all commercial foods or making home cooked diets. As owners we must put dietary enzymes back into the diet, in order to maintain proper wellness and not deplete the body of this important resource. This can be done by the addition to your diet with a product called Nzymes, a chewable pet treat, or granular form which can be sprinkled on the food to replace what is lost. In other words, Nzymes provide the body with the right nutrients to allow the body to make the chemicals necessary to detoxify (clean out) the body and repair itself.

Nzymes helps with the following:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Anti-aging - detoxification of the body
  • Natural anti-inflammatory ~ so you can avoid risky medicines like Rimadyl
  • Arthritis
  • Orthopedic problems ~ HOD, OCO, Pano, Wobblers, Hip Dysplasia, ACL
  • Epilepsy and Seizures - due to vaccine reactions
  • Vaccine reaction prevention
  • Cleanses residual toxins from medicines, flea and parasite preparations.
  • Boosting the immune system
  • Reduces shedding
  • Itchy ears
  • Yeast infections
  • Bladder infections
  • Hotspots
  • Reduces healing time from injury, surgery (cropping/bloat/c-sections)
  • Reduces recovery time from anesthesia.

Nzymes are from sprouts (food) so they do not conflict with diet or any medications. I have used the Nzymes for 20 years for my animals and I take the human product and have seen remarkable changes our health. By incorporating Nzymes into the diet, you are putting back the "living component" into the modern processed and cooked diets. This gives the body the tools it needs for repair and good health.

Website to order :

3. Ox-E-Drops

Ox-E-Drops is clear a safe liquid that will kill pathogens: bacteria, fungus and virus. When feeding raw meat it is particularly important to use Ox-E-Drops to help prevent problems with the pathogens in raw foods. An added benefit is that Ox-E-Drops Drops does not kill the good bacteria of the gut and helps to encourage the growth of friendly bacteria. I believe Ox-E-Drops is very important component to a diet in the possible prevention of bloat and systemic fungus infections, toxic and leaky gut syndrome, because if it's ability to help keep the proper pH balance in the gut which is important in breeds that have a tendency to bloat.

Ox-E-Drops can be use diluted (1 cup of distilled water + 1 teaspoon of Oxy-Drops) for a solution to clean out ears, eyes, to spray on skin or use as a colonic. It is very beneficial in systemic yeast infections as well.

Dosage - 1 drop per 20 lbs of body weight. Use daily on food, mix with a little water and your canned Eagle meat and use as a gravy. During times of illness - double this dosage.

To order:

4. Probiotics and Digestive Enzymes

4 in 1 Probiotics - This is a combination 4 friendly yogurt like good bacteria, 4 digestive enzymes, Vitamin C - in and Ester C form and Barley Grass. It fills the "holes in every diet", processed or raw. Do NOT add more Vitamin C to your dogs diet it is already this product.

First Choice Naturals 4 in 1 Probiotics contains:

  • Yogurt Cultures - friendly bacteria in the form of Acidophillus and other cultures

  • Fruits - Vitamin C in the form Ester C-50 - 500 mg per dose based on weight

  • Digestive enzymes, needed when using processed or raw diet.

  • Veggies - Barley Grass -your daily salad.

To order: 765-287-8288 or purchase online at ~

5. Joint Supplementation

I have used Liquid Health Level 5000 joint supplementation with great success on my dogs. It is particularly noticeable when you introduce it to an elderly dog diet - they respond very well to joint nutritional supplementation. The amount of glucosamine in better dog foods is barely a maintenance level dosage, which is why I supplement my dogs. Whereby it is beneficial for all breeds ages and sizes, the large and giant breeds are particularly vulnerable due to their size, rapid development as a puppy and later tendencies toward bone cancer - normally of the long bone or growth plate.

There is a great new joint chewable tablet on the market that I just finished testing and it also protects the immune function and boosts energy levels. To read about Full Flex go to this link.

I believe most of these cancers can be prevented with a comprehensive diet and joint support during development. If a dog has had HOD, OCD or Pano as a young dog, I feel it is very important to use the dietary enzyme product and other "functional foods" with anticancer properties as part of the daily diet, in the hopes of preventing bone cancer as they age.

I start my puppies on joint supplementation at 10 - 12 weeks of age and continue throughout their adult life. With the large/giant breeds their joints have added stressed, so any thing that can help support them as they age, is a positive step in the right direction.

For more complete information: Level 5000 Joint Support

Options: For Variety - Meats - Fruits - Vegetable

I use holistic canned dog foods - holistic quality* for variety (beef, chicken, liver, lamb, duck, fish, puppy). I mix a couple of tablespoons of canned meat with tepid temperature water and make a gravy. OR you can top dress with one of the HONEST KITCHEN - an organic dehydrated raw meat /fruit/veggie mixe. I use about 10% of this in combination with my kibble.

*Do NOT use grocery store brand of canned food they are full of preservatives and 4D meats (dead, diseased dying and disabled) and they give the dogs stinky gas and are full of unhealthy fillers. NO homemade concoctions of meat/rice combinations that you make up at home, they are very unbalanced in their calcium and phosphorus levels and can cause growth problems.

The Honest Kitchen dehydrated raw dog food is what I use to provide a 10% raw component to my dogs kibble. It is balanced in calcium and phosphorus ratios which are very important in growing and elderly dogs!


EMBARK 29% protein - 16% fat - Organic Turkey, Flaxseed, Potatoes, Celery, Spinach, Carrots, Coconut, Apples, Kelp, Eggs, Sesame Seeds, Bananas, Cranberries, Rosemary.

: 12% protein 5 % fat - Alfalfa, sweet potatoes, cabbage, celery, apples, spinach, organic kelp, coconut, bananas, zucchini, and honey.

THRIVE - 26% protein -18% fat - no grain/low gluten
USDA Organic Chicken, Quinoa, Sweet Potatoes, Spinach, Parsley, Kelp, Rosemary, Vitamins and Minerals -4 lb box = 17 lbs wet food also available in 10 lb box.

One- 4 lb bag will make up to 17 lbs of moist meat/fruits and veggies and if used to top dress your kibble you can see it goes a long way. The Honest Kitchen dog food is endorsed by the Whole Dog Journal.

To order call 765-287-8288 ~ and to order online go to

Amounts I use of Honest Kitchen to top dress:

8-10- weeks - 1 Tablespoon each meal
11-16 weeks - 4-Tablespoons divided AM and PM meal
5 - 6 mo - 1/4 cup AM and PM
7 - 8 mo 1/4 - 1/3 cup l AM and PM meal
9 mo - Adults - 1/2 daily - 1 cup Divided AM and PM


  • Putkibble in a bowl - AM
  • add Nzymes (dietary enzyme) - AM
  • add 4 in 1 Probiotic/Digestive enzyme - AM
  • add Liquid Health Level 5000 AM

    I add my supplements in the AM just because it is easier to do it all at once. I make gravy of tepid temp water and canned meat or Honest Kitchen and add the Ox-E-Drops to this mixture.

    WATER ON KIBBLE - Puppies 8-10 weeks use 1/4 - cup water + 1-2 tablespoons canned meat. You want the food moist but not floating and sloppy. For older puppies and adults I will use 1/3 - 3/4 cup of water per meal along with my canned meat or Honest Kitchen.

    Do not microwave, soak or use hot or very warm water on your kibble. It will destroy the integrity of the friendly yogurt type cultures and the fragile vitamins/minerals and amino acids on the food.

    Water On Food:
    Commercial foods need to be fed with moisture so dogs don't over consume water after a meal, and so the kibble does not pull moisture from the dogs system in order to break down properly. Use
    "tepid" temperature water never hot or warm and never soak your food as it breaks down and destroys nutrients. Mix up and feed immediately. I use approximately 1 to 1-1/2 cups of water for adults per each meal. Adjust accordingly for puppies. If they have loose stools, you may be using too much meat or water than necessary. Adjust that before you panic and think they are sick.

    Drinking Water:
    It is very important to
    NEVER withhold water from your dog. This can lead to over consumption and bladder infections. Use common sense, do not let them drink excessively after exercise or dinner. Like a horse, let them cool down and then drink. I have found if I have water available in several places, they never overdo it since they know it is available to them when they need it. That way they drink less amounts of water, but more frequently.

    Withholding water for fear of bloat is a myth. Stress is the cause and bloat/torsion is the response. It is much more complicated that simply saying water is the cause of bloat.

    (See my article on Bloat and Torsion for details) (See On My Soapbox)

Nutritional Support For Special Needs

Cataracts - there is now hope for your pet with out having surgery. Go Here for info on Cataracts

Anesthesia / Surgery:
This is important information about anesthetics and giant breeds. Print out for your vet. Also for any elective surgery, i.e., spay, neuter or emergency surgery such as bloat/torsion. I use Nzymes to detoxify and help with fast healing.

Heart Health for the Elderly:

If you own a giant breed or one prone to heart problems it is recommended that you use the highest quality protein food and supplement with these components. These are nutritional substances from food sources and do not conflict with medications or each other and are good to use for heart disease and /or prevention. Here is an article to help you determine what Supplements for Heart Health would be very beneficial for your dog. My preference is to start these when the dog turns 3-4 years, but sooner would be even more beneficial.

Anti-Aging Supplement - Colostrum:
This amazing substance will regenerate and rejuvenate the immune function as well as heart muscle. It is highly recommended for dogs with cardiomyopathy. In the future you can order from the Nzymes company - in the meantime, get Immune Tree Brand at the Health food store or on line. You want "first milking" colostrum - guaranteed to be that it is.

Weight Problems and Seniors

One of the best way to handle weight issues with seniors is - 1). check their thyroid and

2).Use this homemade Veggie Soup recipe as kibble replacer/filler when you are cutting back on your dogs diet. For example, if you normally feed 3 cups of kibble, and want your dog to drop some weight (slowly), then feed 2 cups of kibble (Nutri Source Senior), then add 1 cup of a veggie loaded broth to make up for the other cup of kibble.

Linda's Very Veggie Soup

2 Large cans of vegetable, chicken or beef broth - (low sodium or homemade).
Add LOTS of veggies - carrots, green beans, wax beans, zucchini, squash, tomatoes, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and optional : 1 clove minced garlic.

Seniors and Thyroid Issues
I always recommend a yearly thyroid test on senior dogs. So many times owners think their dogs are fading away due to old age when in fact their dog has a thyroid problem. We often think our pets have to exhibit some skin issues or hair loss before we entertain the idea of thyroid tests, but it has been my experience that this is not always the case. Also, the "so called" normal range varies for each breed and I always recommend using thyroid medication if your dog's test results come back in a "low normal" range. Thyroid medication is not cost prohibitive and makes all the difference in the world to you family pet.

Section C - Support Information - Required Reading

Read this: Does My Vet Understand Nutrition?

Antibiotic Reactions in Great Danes and Other Breeds.

Sulfonamide Antibiotics
Based on information gained from the National Bone Survey, I do not recommend using Sulfonamide* antibiotics to my puppy buyers because these drugs can cause serious side-effects like sloughing of skin and internal bleeding and HOD-like symptoms including;fever, aching joints, swollen joints, lack of mobility, depression and anorexia. The following antibiotics are sulfonamides.

    • Ditrim
    • Primor
    • Tribrissin
    • Bactrim
    • TMZ
    • TMP/SDZ

    Another commonly used, potentially troublesome antibiotics is Cephalexin (Keflex, Cefa-Tabs). This can also produces the same symptoms as HOD (fever,swollen/hot joints, immobility, anorexia) even in adult dogs. I will use Chephalexin, but with a watchful eye and if the dog starts acting lethargic and achy, we stop the antibiotic, since they are sensitive to it. Call the vet for an alternative antibiotic and make sure you are using a good Probiotic product to keep the digestive tract functioning properly.

    I will not use Sulfonamides drugs on my dogs. A reaction can happen from 24 hours - 2 weeks of being on an antibiotic. If there is a reaction, my vet recommends Dexamethsone/Azium and discontinue use or antibiotic.

    * Research references on Sulfonamides

Fleas - Heartworm

    People ask me what I use for these problems. I use Interceptor as a heartworm preventative and for flea and tick problems I use a topical product- either Frontline Plus or Advantage, Advantix products. I do rotate a different ones each year. Because these are not systemic products taken internally, I feel a bit better about using them and because the dogs/cats and my self are also on Nzymes, which detoxifies the body, I am comfortable with using these products.

Special Alert - Other Breeds:
    For Collie/Sheltie/Aussie and Sighthound Owners (could effect some Great Danes)
    For those people who own Collies, Shelties, Sighthounds, Aussies, Border Collies, any breeds with Collie background or mixed breeds with any of these dogs in them, it is critical that you know there are certain medications your dogs CAN'T take. Do not leave it up to your vet to know this..YOU must print this out and know it - it is a matter of life or death.
    These dogs have a sensitivity to Ivermectin (Heartguard Heartworm medication. Only use Interceptor heart worm preventative. Other related drugs you can not use on these breeds or there will be neurological damage.
    Other related drugs you can NOT use:
    Metronidazole (which is used for diarrhea and giardia)
    Ivermectin - Heart Guard
    There are many different types of drugs that have been reported to cause problems in Collies, ranging from over-the-counter antidiarrheal agents like Imodium® to antiparasitic and chemotherapy agents. It is likely this list will grow to include more drugs as our research progresses.
    Drugs that have been documented, or are strongly suspected to cause problems in dogs with the MDR1 mutation:
    Ivermectin (antiparasitic agent)
    Loperamide (Imodium®; over-the-counter antidiarrheal agent)
    Doxorubicin (anticancer agent)
    Vincristine (anticancer agent)
    Vinblastine (anticancer agent)
    Cyclosporin (immunosuppressive agent)
    Digoxin (heart drug)
    Acepromazine (tranquilizer)
    Butorphanol (pain control)
    Potential Problem Drugs
    The following drugs may potentially cause problems when given to dogs that have the mutation. Biochemical studies have shown that this gene has the potential to act on over 50 different drugs.

    Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine
    Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology Laboratory
    PO Box 2280
    Pullman, WA 99165-2280
    (Phone/FAX 509-335-3745)

Additional Support For The Senior Dog:
Click here for anal gland problems
Click Here: For other articles that pertain to Adult Dog Care
Click Here: For Senior's website -

Preparing For The Future:

Home |About Us | Album | Interview | Articles | Links | Breeders Showcase | GREAT Great Danes | Linda's Artwork | Email:

Copyright © 2002-2003 GREATDANELADY.COM