Every dog is special and it is no wonder they have different nutritional needs as well. Senior dogs are no exception either. They require your special attention and care all throughout and it is equally important not to turn a blind eye to their special dietary requirements. Dogs are usually considered seniors when they attain 10 years of age, although for some larger breeds, the age comes down to around 5 to 6 years of their dog life. Owing to constant changes in their dietary needs, finding the right dog food isn’t as easy as picking up a dog food labeled “senior”.
Here are four of the best advises according to vets that you can rely on before selecting the right dog food for your old furry friend. Stay put for an informative read ahead.
- Make a note of whether your senior dog is overweight or underweight: It is important to hunt for the perfect amounts of calorie density depending on whether your senior furry friend needs to gain or lose weight. For an underweight dog, it is advisable to provide more than 450 calories per cup of kibble or a diet supplying greater than 50 grams of fat per 1000 calories. A dose of less than 350 calories per cup of kibble is the acceptable proportions for an obese dog.
- Just eating less: Provide your senior doggo with foods succulent in Vitamins and minerals, like brown rice, sweet potatoes, ocean fish and meat. Look up for the ingredients while buying kibble and only pick those which have the above constituents.
- Drinking less: Canned or fresh foods having high moisture retention can suffice with the extra hydration that your senior doggo needs for a sustainable living. Also, make sure to keep a bowl of fresh water nearby all the time.
- Diminished appetite: A diet, with higher amounts of protein or fat with more moisture will be a palatable option for your senior dog and will be more suitable for her to consume.
- Some common problems and their requisite diets: Here are some of the most common health problems senior dogs suffer from. Pay a visit to the visit in case it becomes a serious issue.
- Constipation: Kibble rich in generous amounts of fibre in the form of psyllium or fiber-rich vegetables like brocolli or green beans is a proven solution to help fight the problems of constipation and lead to smoother digestive health.
- Muscle loss: A protein rich diet is what you need to provide your
senior dog with suffering from the pangs of muscle loss. The vet recommended dose for protein intake dose in senior pups is greater than 75 grams of protein for every 1000 calories consumed.
Behavioral changes or memory loss: Pamper your senior pup with treatos and doggo food that are enriched with medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), fish oil, DHA and antioxidants. A detailed and comprehensive advise from your vet on strategies for reducing such age related problems might open up some better solutions.
- Keep an eye out for the following chronic diseases: With old age comes the hackles and troubles of being diagnosed with various chronic ailments. Dogs also suffer from serious ailments once they come of age but such diseases can be kept at bay with proper diet. Here are some of them to name a few along with the counter-diet.
- Osteoarthritis: Scour the market for picking up dog food which have elevated levels of Omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, with more than one gram composition of both of them combined per 1000 calories. You can also couple the same with glucosamine and chondroitin which act as cartilage components vital for strong joints in senior dogs.
- Chronic Pancreatitis: A controlled diet, devoid of fat is what most senior dogs need who suffer from pancreatitis. Moderation in any form of diet is the key for a healthy and balanced life for your senior doggo. Also, make sure to provide diet which is less in phosphorus content.
In a nutshell, a well balanced customized diet along with bucket loads of love and constant pamper sessions is probably the best medicine that you can shower your old and adorable furry friend with. After all, you two are meant for each other.