How To Feed Your Senior Dog

Just like humans, dogs are living much longer than they did in the past. There are many different reasons for this, but the most important factor is nutrition. Dog food has come a long way in the past 30 years, and resulted in new generation of happier, healthier pooches. But as your dog enters old age (the last third of their normal life expectancy), it’s important to ensure that their diet is adapted to suit the changing needs of their bodies. In this week’s article, we’ll be sharing tips and tricks to feed your senior dog so that they stay healthy and happy throughout their golden years.

 

What happens as dogs age?

There are quite a few changes that occur as our pets age; much like us, their bodies start to deteriorate. Common age related deterioration in older dogs can include hearing and vision loss, reduced muscle mass and arthritis. There may also be behavioural changes, such as restless sleep, being easily startled and urinary incontinence. Obesity can also become an issue as older dogs tend to be less active. All around, dogs are more vulnerable in old age. That’s why it’s so important to pay special attention to their diet.

 

What does a senior dog diet look like?

Because weight gain is common in senior dogs, their diets must be lower in calories, while retaining the same levels of protein, fat and fibre to promote health and vitality. For some dogs, this may mean continuing their same diet plan as when they were younger, and simply reducing their intake. Fibre is especially important for older dogs, as they are more prone to constipation- it’s recommended that fibre constitutes around 3% – 5% of their diet. Consider adding wheat bran- it’s a great option to up the fibre!

 

Nutrition can also play an important role in managing chronic diseases in senior dogs. For example, older dogs suffering from kidney disease can benefit from a specialised diet with significantly reduced protein. The best way to determine whether your senior dog may benefit from a specialised diet is with a routine blood test which your local vet can perform.

 

Should I include supplements?

The answer to this question really depends on your dog and their needs. Each senior dog will have their own specific nutritional needs which can be addressed through supplements. For aging dogs suffering from joint pain, glucosamine and chondroitin supplements can help to alleviate stress and aches.

 

As always, if you’re not sure how to feed your senior dog, consult your local veterinarian. Vets In Cranbourne are experienced pet professionals, and can help you to determine what’s best for your dog, especially when it comes to weight management. Get in touch by calling 03 5995 3444 for more information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pet Care

  • As pet owners, it is our duty to take extra care to ensure our pets don’t come into contact with poisons – especially if those toxins are perfectly harmless to humans. Today we’ve compiled a list of toxins commonly found in the household that can be deadly for pets. Is there anything on the list …
    Read More >
  • Warm weather and heavy rains this summer have seen a spike in Myxomatosis cases around Melbourne. But just what is Myxomatosis? In today’s blog, we are giving you a run-down on Myxomatosis and just how deadly it can be for your pet rabbit.   What is it? Myxomatosis is a virus contracted by rabbits from …
    Read More >
  • Did you know Osteoarthritis is just as common in our pets as it is in humans? Osteoarthritis is the term used to describe the deterioration of the cartilage in your pet’s joints. This can cause them chronic pain, inflammation and stiffness that can make life for your pet difficult if it is not properly managed. …
    Read More >

Newsletter Signup