Posted on: 14 May 2019
As your dog gets older, it's natural to become more concerned about their health and dietary needs. Senior dogs have much different dietary needs than a younger pup. Weight issues, problem absorbing nutrients, and problems eating can all affect your older dog. The following tips can help you meet these dietary challenges so your best friend stays healthy.
Keep on top of dental health
Issues with tooth decay can affect your dog's eating habits. Many people mistake a senior dog's low appetite as a sign of aging, but all too often the dog just simply can't chew their food well anymore because of pain. Providing a soft dog food provides a temporary solution, but you also need to get your dog to the dentist so they can have their teeth cleaned and any decay addressed. Not only will this make your dog more comfortable, but it will also ensure they are still able to eat the pet foods that provide them with the best nutrition.
Keep on top of weight gain
Just like humans, a dog's energy level drops as they age. Depending on the age and other health concerns, like arthritis, there can be a major drop in energy. Continuing to feed your dog the same amount daily, or worse, starting to give more treats and table scraps, can lead to weight gain now that your pup is less active. Extra weight may not seem like a big deal, but it will put more stress on your dog's joints and organs, leading to increased pain and discomfort, as well as an increased chance of major health issues. Stick to a feeding schedule and measure out your dog's food to avoid weight gain. Also, while an occasional treat is great, use other rewards like play time and belly scratching as opposed to food occasionally.
Switch your pet foods
The food that fueled your dog when they were younger just won't cut it anymore. Contact a pet food supplier and inquire about foods specifically formulated for senior dogs. Senior dogs do not necessarily absorb nutrients as well as a younger dog, plus their aging body has different nutrient needs compared to a younger dog. A senior food tends to be lower calorie as well as smaller and easier to chew — both important as your dog ages. Food formulated for senior dogs also typically contains supplements for things like joint health and digestive health.
With a little research, you can find the perfect food option for your senior dog.Share