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Aging Causes Changing Dietary Needs
If your dog is getting older, you might be worried about changing his dietary needs. Older dogs indeed require different nutrition, and you have to learn how to choose food for senior dogs. You wouldn’t want your dog to gain weight, or to damage his fragile health.
There isn’t an exact age when your dog is considered to be senior. It all depends on the breed and body weight. For example, larger breeds age faster than smaller ones. Also, overweight dogs might experience symptoms of aging faster than these with ‘normal’ body mass. Many dogs are considered to be perfectly healthy even when they experience half of their life expectancy, which is the general time frame when a dog is considered to become a senior dog.
Fibers, Low-Cal Vs. High Cal Diets in Senior Dogs
Now, to the point. How to choose food for senior dogs? As we’ve already mentioned, geriatric dogs need a different diet than puppies and adult dogs. First of all, they require lower-calories diets, as they are prone to obesity. Senior dogs have lower energy requirements, which means their metabolism is slower.
Also, it is suggested to look for diets that have a higher amount of fibers, as this will improve the gastrointestinal health of your canine friend – senior dogs are prone to constipation, so keeping their diet high in fiber might help them feel better.
Finding good food for dog diarrhea might also be a good thing to consider, as stomach problems can become more often as your dog reaches a certain age. Choosing food with higher-quality protein sources can also help your senior dog maintain muscle mass and healthy body weight.
Water Intake Increases for Older Dogs
Apart from a different food, your senior four-legged friend will need more water than he did in younger years. Older dogs need to have a lot of water no matter the time of the day.
When looking for the best food for senior dogs, you can choose from various kinds of ‘multi-stage’ food, which is fit for dogs of any age, or you can choose food that is made specifically for senior dogs.
Although it is recommended to buy different food for every life stage of your dog, if you have two or more dogs who are in different life stages, separating their food can be a difficult task. Puppies will tend to love food for older dogs and vice versa.
At the same time, when learning how to choose food for senior dogs, you have to consider your dog’s health.
Other Health Considerations for Your Aging Dogs
For example, older pets with special conditions, such as kidney failure or diabetes, will require a special diet that you should consult your veterinary for. And if your dog has heart problems, consider finding food with even fewer calories than normal, as they must not become obese.
Food with lower-sodium formulations might also be a great choice. If your dog has arthritis or joint pain – which is a common problem for larger breeds – consider adding supplements to help their bones. Keep in mind that a dog will benefit more from keeping his weight healthy than from such feeding additions.
Knowing how to choose food for senior dogs can help your friend lead a longer, healthier, and pain-free life. Of course, always be sure to consult your veterinarian before changing your dog’s diet. Sometimes your dog might be slowing down or gaining weight from some serious health problems and not from old age.
There are ways to maximize the nutrition in your senior dogs food and that may include adding a pre and probiotics, lethetin granules, green powers for pets, to ensure that the nutrients are being digested and extracted from the food they are consuming. At New York Dog Nanny we recommend a diet of at least 50% wet food (meaning canned food, prepared frozen/refrigerated meals, or meal delivery for pets.) Wet food does not mean wetted food — adding water to your kibble/dry food as this is a common misconception.
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