The older your beloved pet gets, the more you have to pay attention to your buddy’s diet and weight. The good news is that there are several options for healthy diet food for old dogs and that whatever weight issues your dog has is already explained by science.
You will notice that there are many dog foods marketing themselves as “senior diets”, but take note that they only differ in terms of less omega-3 fatty acids, anti-oxidants, and
chondroitin/glucosamine products. They are also lower in calories. While switching to these specialized foods is a viable option, there’s nothing wrong with continuing the diet your pet is on but on a different schedule. Another option is to add special ingredients that contain antioxidants, omega-3s, and fiber. If you’re feeling experimental, there’s a bunch of home cooked recipes perfect for adult dogs you might want to try.
If you want to give senior dog foods a try, the brand does make a difference. You might be tempted to buy low-priced generic brands, but their ingredients aren’t of good quality. Those that are average-priced, on the other hand, have better quality. If you want the best, premium formulas sold by national brands usually are made of the best ingredients. You might not want to go for niche brands specially sold in pet shops; their manufacturers don’t have the manpower to control the quality of their products. They are also likely to stay in the shelf and get stale over time.
Aside from making changes in your dog food, you will also need to hydrate your dog more than ever. Their kidneys are not as strong as before, so they will need all the water they can get.
The Lowdown on Healthy Diet Food for Old Dogs
Does My Old Dog Need A Supplement ?
Probably not. If your dog is eating a balance, commercial diet or a home cooked one that follows an intelligent recipe and meets AAFCO guidelines, it does not need a supplement.
But if your dog is a picky eater, if it has chronic digestive problems or if your veterinarian feels it could benefit from an increased level of a specific nutrient, do place it on a supplement targeted to that specific problem.
Supplements that say something to the effect that they are “Specifically Designed To Meet The Health Needs Of Older Dogs” are just marketing ploys. (Read More Here)
By the time your old buddy advances in age, you will have to change not only their diet but also their meal time. You might need to give them several meals a day instead of one or two a day. This will make them less likely to develop bloat.
Weight is another issue that older dogs have to struggle with as they advance in age. Overweight dogs tend to experience more problems, related to joints, bones, skin, and urinary tract. That’s why you may have to control their weight as they grow old. Keep them fit and trim, and they’ll experience less problems growing up.
Some older dogs, on the other hand, experience weight loss. This is just as troubling as obesity, because it can cause dental and gum problem. It might also be a sign that your dog is seriously ill. Or it might be something less grave and distressing, such as a simple change in your dog’s preference. When this happens, all you have to do is to make more savory treats for your old buddy.
With all the food and weight issues that your older dog will face, it will take a lot of effort on your end. But it will all be worth it in the end, if it means getting to spend more time with your dog for a few more years.