What Should I Feed My Senior Dogs?
As dogs get older, it can be common for them to experience more health issues. These may include ageing joints, illness, delicate digestion and needing help to manage a healthy weight. This is why Senior Diets are specially formulated to help keep your dog at their healthiest as they age.
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What a senior dog needs from their diet
As every dog ages, their activity levels typically decrease and their metabolic rate can begin to slow down. If not managed correctly, this can put them at risk of gaining weight which can then lead to further health issues. As well as the increased risk of weight gain, their digestion and overall gastrointestinal health are more likely to need support. This is why our Senior Diets not only have a decreased calorie content, but also contain optimal fibre levels and prebiotics to help promote their overall gastrointestinal health.
Common health issues in senior dogs
Older dogs experience a variety of changes as they begin to reach their senior years. As their body composition changes, some dogs can lose lean muscle mass and gain body fat. Conditions such as arthritis, joint pain and obesity are all more likely to develop as a dog gets older. However, all these conditions can have their effects reduced and sometimes even avoided when a senior dog is fed a high-quality diet that includes certain preventative measures.
Our Eukanuba™ Senior Diets combat this by utilising an increased level of highly digestible animal proteins to support lean muscle mass. The lower calorie count can be beneficial when your senior dog has decreased activity levels as it helps to avoid increased weight gain. Fibres and prebiotics added into our Senior Diets also support their gastrointestinal health and help promote good stool quality.
Older dogs can also suffer from arthritis and joint pain due to many factors, including increased stress on the joints and predispositions. This is why all Eukanuba™ Senior Diets contain natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate, along with omega 3 oils to help reduce joint inflammation and ease your dog’s discomfort.
Dental disease can be another problem for senior pets if they have not had proper dental care during adulthood. All Eukanuba™ Senior Diets include our easy chew kibble with dental defense to help reduce plaque and maintain strong teeth. When experiencing severe dental disease problems, it’s a good idea to discuss some alternative options with your vet. Your pet’s health is very important, so please remember that your dog needs to be examined by a vet at least once a year. It is easier to prevent a health issue, rather than treat one.
Encouraging a senior dog's appetite
Lots of dogs begin to lose their appetite as they age. This can be because theymight not be burning the same amount of energy, so their appetite decreases. For other dogs, it may be because they suffer from dental issues that give them discomfort when they try to eat. Some dogs simply begin to lose their sense of smell and taste, so they are no longer instinctively drawn to their food.
To help overcome these issues, many owners like to include a canned wet food to mix into their pet’s meals. Wet pet food usually has an appetising aroma that helps tempt an older dog and the softer textures make it easier for sensitive teeth to chew. Another option to help entice your senior dog at meal time is to divide up their food into two or three meals a day. This can help make those picky eaters easier to manage and can reduce wastage in the bowl.
- Caio Ferreira