Obesity is the number one cause of premature death in senior dogs. It’s because as dogs age, they move slower than before. Their body is now having a hard time burning all the calories from their food. With that, the extra weight means a dog’s joints need to work harder. To make things even worse, a senior dog might already be at an age where it is more prone to problems such as hip dysplasia, luxated knee cap, and arthritis.
Here are some of the frequently asked questions in choosing the right dog for a senior fur baby:
How Old Is A Dog In Human Years?
By understanding your fur baby’s age and size, you’ll be able to provide the best care for them. The simplest way to count a dog’s age in human years is by thinking that one dog year is equal to seven human years. It’s the most popular rule of thumb that’s been used since the mid-20th century.
However, properly converting a dog’s age to human years isn’t that simple. Smaller dog breeds age slower than larger dogs. For example, a six-year old dachshund is equivalent to a 40-years old human. At the same time, a Labrador of the same age can be considered equivalent to a 45-year old human. As your fur babies age, they also need a change in diet in able for them to receive the proper nutrition based on their age.
If you need a professional’s advice on what food to give your dog, visit an official website to help you provide the best you can to let your dog live a healthy life. Aside from this, you can bring your dog to your local vet and get recommendations from them.
When Is A Dog Considered A Senior?
Dogs are like humans because signs of aging and illness show more frequently as they grow old. Your fur baby might become less playful and slow down a little. Their fur also goes gray, just like humans do. Knowing when your dog is already considered a senior dog is vital in pet parenting. It’s because there are a lot of changes you need to make to your dog’s daily routine.
At what age is your fur baby considered to be a senior dog? Here’s a guide you can check:
- Small breeds: Small dogs are those who weigh 20 pounds or less. They get to their adult years quicker than large dogs, around eight months of age. After this, their bodies start to age slowly. A small healthy dog isn’t considered a senior until 12 years of age.
- Medium breeds: Medium dogs are considered senior by the age of 9-10 years old.
- Large and giant breeds: Large dogs have shorter life spans than small breeds. Typically, big dogs have a life expectancy of 12 years. They’re considered senior by the age of 8 years old. On the other hand, giant breeds have a life expectancy of 7 years. They’re considered senior as they turn five years
As your dog ages, remember to take it for annual health checkups with their vet to ensure that it’s healthy even in their senior years.
What Does A Senior Dog Eat?
As your dog gets older and slower, it needs a change of diet to supply them with the nutrients its body needs. Senior dogs need essential nutrients such as carbohydrates, fiber, fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals to thrive. Here are the nutrients they need to live a healthy and longer life:
- Carbohydrates and fiber: Carbohydrates are starches and sugars found in plant foods. They provide the energy your dog needs to play and exercise. Carbs also provide fiber which is vital for your fur baby’s bowel function. Fiber is commonly found in potatoes, grains, rice, and peas.
- Fat: Aside from making meals taste good, fats provide energy and let a senior dog feel satisfied with its food. Fats are needed by the body to break down vitamins A, D, E, and K. Linoleic and oleic acids which are unsaturated fatty acids also support coat and skin health.
- Protein: Protein is needed in a senior dog’s diet to build muscle mass, produce hormones, develop skin and hair, heal damaged tissue, and regulate metabolism. Some of the ingredients rich in protein are chicken, turkey, beef, and lamb.
- Vitamins and minerals: Dogs need vitamins and minerals to help their bodies fight disease and illnesses. Animal and plant foods naturally have vitamins already. Some premium commercial dog foods contain necessary vitamins and minerals, but some don’t. You can ask your vet for supplements your senior fur baby can take.
Make sure your dog gets the nutrients it needs to live a longer life with you and your family. If you’re having trouble looking for the right food for it, seek help from your local veterinarian because they know what diet to give an aging dog. That way, you know your fur baby is getting the best meal every day.
Giving a senior dog a proper meal will make a huge difference. They’ll become healthier and more energetic. That means it can play and exercise more to avoid getting big and becoming obese. These questions, with their respective answers, will help you and your dog to have more years together.
Love our content? Share it with a friend or link it to social media. Like short clips of cute household pets? Training tips? Follow us on instagram @nydognanny or on YouTube at nydognanny. Have some news you needs to get to dog and cat parents stat? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your article pitch.