Feeding A Dog – Senior Dog Feeding
It’s sad, but true…dogs age faster and have a shorter lives than humans. When paws pet food around nine years of age they may be considered senior citizens, even though they appear young and vital. What you need to know is that when a dog gets older, his or her nutritional requirements will change and you’ll need to start to feed him or her a high quality senior dog food.
Aging dogs require a diet that is lower in fat, protein and calories and also has a higher amount of fiber than a normal diet. However, you may be able to provide your dog with the same diet they normally get, just in reduced quantities and supplement it with the suggested diet changes mentioned above. Sometimes, senior dogs require special diets.
An older dog can greatly benefit from added vitamins and minerals as their nutritional needs are changing with age. Unfortunately, just like us, they can be susceptible to the ailments of aging like gum disease and arthritis. If you think your dog may not be receiving their daily requirement of vitamins and minerals, ask your veterinarian for advice as to which type and quantity to add to his or her diet.
Generally, a dog tends to lose weight as it ages, but if your dog begins to lose weight rapidly and lacks the urge to eat, it requires a visit to your vet to rule out any issues that may be caused by disease. If everything turns out to be normal, then your vet may recommend a switch your dog’s diet with the idea of getting him to eat more.
Also, older dogs can develop constipation, so a diet high in fiber is a far better choice for an aging dog. Plus, feeding a high quality dry dog food will also help control tartar build up on their teeth and will help reduce the risk of gum disease. If you’ve got a pet suffering from constipation, try adding some bran to their food. It provides an effective amount of fiber, or you can select a senior pet food that has extra fiber.
For those of you who feed dry meals, you may notice your senior dog is having a hard time chewing his or her food. Try feeding a dry food that has smaller sized dry nuggets or moisten the food with water making the regular size softer and simpler to chew. If you heat any canned or moistened food in the microwave to extend the aroma and your dog’s desire for food, always remember to stir the heated food before serving to eliminate any hot spots.
Another tempting appetite teaser would be to add some cooked chicken and blend it with the dry food, as this may help to increase his appetite; or add some grated vegetables like broccoli or carrots. This may also be a tasty treat for your dog and have some added vitamin benefits as well.
When your dog approaches his or her senior years,it;s important to assess his nutritional needs and find a diet that meets them. Feeding a dog a high quality senior dog food with optimal nutrition for your dog is extremely important for his or her continued good health and longevity..
Both you and your best friend will be happy you did!
Anita Boyd has been a “dog person” her entire life and recently learned she’s been feeding toxic ingredients to her beloved dogs over many years through a commercial dog food that she trusted would nourish them. One of her beloved dogs suffered from severe bladder issues and died at a very early age and some of her other cherished pets died far too soon from cancer.