Feeding A Senior Dog


"This is for all my senior buddies so they can stay healthy"...

It's sad, but true; a dog's life span is much shorter than a human's and when they reach the age of eight or nine, they may be considered a senior citizen even though their appearance doesn't display it. When a dog gets older, his or her nutritional needs change and you'll need to feed him a high quality senior dog food.

Older dogs require a well balanced diet that is lower in calories, fat, protein with higher fiber content. It may be possible to continue feeding your dog the food they are accustomed to but in smaller amounts. In certain cases a specially formulated senior diet may be required. If choosing a commercially prepared diet the protein quantity is around 18%, whereas dogs needing a diet for renal failure, the protein quantity is normally around 14%.

Older dogs have a higher risk of developing constipation, so a diet high in fiber is a far better choice for the senior dog. Feeding a high quality drydog food will also help control tartar build up on teeth and will reduce the risk of gum disease.

An older dog can greatly benefit from added supplements as their nutritional needs change with age and, unfortunately just like humans they can be prone to arthritis. If you think your dog is not receiving adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals through his food it may be worth consulting your vet for advice about which supplements to give your dog. If your dog has oral disease he or she may not be receiving their daily requirement of vitamins and minerals.

If you've got a pet struggling with constipation wheat bran provides an effective supply of fiber or you can select a senior pet food that is formulated with extra fiber. Generally, an older dog tends tolose weight but if your dog begins to appear much thinner rapidly and lacks the urge to eat, this requires a visit to you rvet to rule out any issues caused by disease. If everything turns out to be normal, then it's possible you'll be recommended a switch your dog's feeding program with the idea of getting him to eat more.

For those of you who feed dry meals, you may notice your senior dog is having a hard time chewing the food. Try feeding a food that has smaller sized kibble or moisten the food with water making them softer and simpler to chew. If you heat any canned or moistened food within the microwave to extend the aroma and your canine's desire for food, alwaysremember to stir the meals before serving to eliminate any hot pockets in the food.

 Another tempting appetite teaser is to add some finely chopped cooked chicken and blend it with the dry meals as this may also help to increase his desire for the food; or add some finely chopped vegetables like carrots or cabbage, which may also be tempting and have some added vitamins as well.

A high quality dog food for seniors, with adequate nutrients for your dog, is important for his or her continued good health and longevity. So when your dog reaches his or her "golden years", it;s important to take the time to assess his nutritional needs and find a food that meets them.

Both you and your best friend will be happy you did! 

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