Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: The land of Enchantment
When my old guy (now passed, god bless) got older, I started him on msm w glucosamine and chrondroitin (cosequin, but there are lots of brands) and senior feed. Purina makes a good one, but there are many. Senior feeds are important b/c their ability to absorb nutrients and calories declines - the sf helps w that. Anyway, at that age they more likely than not have some level of dj, and the joint supplements really help keep them traveling nicely. My guy did very well on those "supplements" and was otherwise fed alfalfa. Even w their teeth floated, sometimes really tough stems are a bit hard for them when they get a lot older...when he was around 27 I started separating out the leaves and feeding the stems to my then filly. You just work with them..help them out a bit, find what works. And as ^ said, keep them moving, it keeps them young.
My guy was a wooly mammoth in the winter all his life, but many seniors don't shed as readily, it isn't necessarily a sign of anything gone wrong...but you need to be diligent and help them get the hair off when the weather changes so they are comfy.
There are a lot of supplements, like you said. To save yourself money - just make sure you have a thought out reason for whatever supplement you buy. The msm, for example, is generally not cheap, but it really works. But, then there are a lot of "general" supplements targeting seniors that are high priced, but what exactly do they achieve above and beyond a good diet plan?
There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it.