Will a senior dog diet make your dog healthier?
The best resource for information about dog diets is your pet's veterinarian. Only you and your vet know the specific needs of your pet the best. Discuss with your vet your concerns and questions. He or she will be able to advise you on what changes, if any, need to be made to your dog's diet.
If your older dog does not have any health problems and maintains a healthy weight, there is no need to change your dog's diet from adult to senior dog food. On the other hand, if your dog has trouble keeping the weight off or digestive issues, you may need to switch. If weight is the only issue, consider slightly lowering the amount of dog food you give to your pet. This may be all the change your dog's diet requires.
A senior dog is classed as a dog in the last third of their life. Larger dogs, such as Great Danes, live to be about 9 years old. When they reach the age of 9 years old, you may want to think about a senior dog's diet. On the other hand, a Poodle will not reach senior status until about age of ten, this is due to the longer life expectancy. The decision to alter your dog's diet should be based on there health condition, rather than there actual age in years. Your vet will help you to decide when the right time is to change your dog's diet.
Dog food especially prepared for senior dogs typically has less calories. This helps to combat any weight issues. The senior dog food also contains more fiber for the different needs in your dog's diet. As dogs age, they tend to suffer from constipation, this extra fiber will help remedy this problem.
Renal failure can be another medical problem, that often occurs to senior dogs. How can your dog's diet help this problem? By reducing the amount of protein you feed your dog in its diet, it will lower the work load for the kidneys. This is the reason that senior dog food mostly has lower protein content than regular adult formulas.
You should when possible get your dog to eat dry dog food to encourage excellent dental health. Dry kibble helps to reduce plaque and any tartar buildup. If your senior pet rejects the food dry, then try moistening it with water or you could the purchase moist canned varieties.
When your vet recommends supplements it may be to help as part of your senior dog's diet. Because some pets are unable to eat properly due to dental problems, many other older pets are not able to gain all of the nutrients from their food, this again is for various health reasons. Supplements such as, vitamins given everyday and glucosamine can be a great help to maintain a healthy diet for your dog.
Glucosamine helps to promote joint health. For senior dogs, glucosamine can help to combat arthritis and hip dysplasia.
Vitamins C, A, and E, help reduce the natural aging process and encourage better health for senior dogs. You should talk to your vet about adding such supplements to your dogs diet.
You want what is best for your pet. Your senior dog needs to have a diet that meets their special nutritional requirements. You and your vet can work together to decide what is the best diet for your senior dog. Your dog's diet directly affects his or her health. Take care of your pet by monitoring your dog's diet closely with the aid of your veterinarian.