As your canine friend starts getting older, you need to be careful about his eating habits. Senior dogs need additional care, with regards to food choices and nutritional balance. This post is all about senior dog food and things that need attention.
Is my dog old?
Dog age differently, based on their breed and size. Larger dogs have shorter life spans in general. Your dog is definitely a senior after the age of 8, although large breeds start showing the signs of aging at six too. If you dog feels tired all the time and has other health problems, especially obesity, you might want to consider a few lifestyle changes, including change in diet plan.
Talk to your vet
Every breed has its own nutritional requirements and health problems. If you are new to old dog care, it is best to talk to your vet. In many cases, older dogs refuse to eat the same old adult food, and you may need to consider certain specialized food items. Your vet is the best person to suggest on the nutritional balance. Experts advise pet owners to consider a mix of both dry and canned food, depending on the age of the dog. Dogs over the age of 9 may have issues with chewing, and dry food might not be an ideal choice in such cases. Canned food too has many varieties to choose from.
It’s very crucial to read between the labels. As mentioned, there are dog foods specially formulated for older dogs, but the list of ingredients is something you need to read in detail. Unlike what people think, your dogs need everything – carbohydrates, fats, protein and fiber. With older dogs, you will have to reduce the intake of carbs and must focus on fiber and protein instead. Protein helps the bones, while fiber helps in dealing with the digestion issues, especially in dogs that have constipation. Fats are also important in a smaller balance. Keep in mind that the calorie intake determines the foods you can choose, and for senior canines, high-calorie dry foods should be avoided at best.
Finally, don’t shy away from asking questions when you visit your vet. Also, senior dogs must be checked for certain conditions, including obesity, thyroid and diabetes, and if your pet has any of such conditions, he might need a special diet. As for the best prices, you can check online to find discounts on canine pet foods.