As we all know, dogs are a man’s best friend. But unfortunately, they don’t live as long humans and they age quicker. Just like humans, dogs change and have different needs as they grow older requiring greater care and attention from their owners. Here is what a senior dog diet should look like.
The food your give your pet needs to change as they grow. Because dogs’ physiology changes as they age, their immunity gets weaker. Senior dogs will become more susceptible to certain diseases. However, through a healthy diet, owners can prevent them from getting ill and help them have an active lifestyle.
Senior Dog’s Diet: Don’t overfeed your dog
As dogs grow older their metabolism slows down. Their decrease in energy is not because they are consuming less food but because their bodies ability to produce energy. Owners often misunderstand this and overfeed their pet leading to obesity and other diseases that are often caused by weight gain. Give them time to digest their food before feeding them their next meal or snack.
Senior Dog’s Diet: Protein is important
To prevent muscle loss, include protein in your dog’s diet. If they have been diagnosed with kidney diseases, then give them meat that is highly digestible. The recommended protein level for older dogs in wet food is over 8% and 24% or more in dry food.
Senior Dog’s Diet: Boost immunity with supplements
Old age decreases immunity in dogs. To prevent the weakening of their immune system, give your pet antioxidants. Good supplements include vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, L –carnitine and lipoic acid.
Senior Dog’s Diet: Consult a vet
Not all senior dogs have the same needs. It depends on their breed, age and activities. Depending on if your dog has any illnesses, that will be the basis of what their diet should look like. Make an appointment with your veterinarian to discuss your dog’s nutritional needs. They will advise you on what’s best for your dog to eat and create a diet plan tailored to their needs.