Best Dog Food For Senior Dogs
If you want to make sure that your senior dogs nutritional needs are being met, you should consider switching to a senior dog food product. These formulas are specifically designed to meet the unique nutritional requirements of older dogs.
You may also be able to get by with a standard adult dog food or a breed size-specific formula as long as the protein content is adequate and the fat content is not too high.
To help you make your choice, here are some good dog food brands for senior dogs:
Ollie makes fresh, human-grade dog food that is delivered to your front door. Their recipes are designed with your specific pet in mind and they can be ordered individually or on a regular schedule. The food comes perfectly portioned for your pooch and it can be stored in your freezer or refrigerator until 24 hours before youre ready to serve it.
You begin by setting up an online profile describing your dog’s size, age, weight, breed, and any allergies or restrictions. Ollie will then recommend recipes and portion size for you. You can receive regular deliveries of food so youll always have some on hand and not have to run to a store last minute.
Their recipes are all made with fresh, human-grade ingredients so you know exactly what is in your pets food.
Avoid Making Your Own
Lots of websites out there are proponents of making your own dog food. They talk about protein to carb ratios and adding in berries and vitamin supplements.
While that is certainly better than just feeding your dog straight meat with a couple of random veggies, it still may not give your dog the precise nutrition hell get from high-quality dog food.
Making your own dog food is a very specific science, and unless you know exactly what youre doing, it leaves your dog open to problems.
Help For Dogs With Dietary Problems
Have an overweight dog that needs to lose weight?
The moisture content of canned dog food can make the same amount of nutrients occupy more volume. So, your dieting dog can feel fuller faster.
And what about older dogs?
Seniors are frequently afflicted with chronic dental problems that can make chewing dry kibble difficult even painful. So, canned dog food can be the perfect solution.
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Great For Elderly Dogs
Since wet dog food has very intense aromas and flavours, elderly dogs who might be losing their sense of smell are likely to enjoy their meal more compared to dry dog food. For elderly dogs who are eating for survival, but dont seem to be enjoying it, wet dog food might just titillate their taste buds once again! Also, if your furry friend is ill or has a low appetite, the aroma and flavour of wet dog food might just make the difference.
Canned Food May Have Higher Protein Than Dry Food
Adult dogs need a minimum of 18 percent crude protein in their daily meals. This applies no matter what type of dog food brand or type of food youre buying. Some exceptions apply: some health issues may mean your dog needs a lower protein diet.
The amount of protein in wet food varies from brand to brand and formulation to formulation, so you need to read labels to make sure your canned food does in fact have more protein than another food.
To compare protein amounts between wet and dry food, you need to calculate the dry matter in wet food and compare it to the dry matter in dry food. Homes Alive Pets has a simple calculator to help determine the dry matter protein content.
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What Is The Best Thing To Feed An Old Dog
Offer your dog fruits and vegetables. All dogs benefit from eating small amounts of fruits and vegetables, particularly when theyre older and more prone to constipation. Add fiber to your dogs diet in the form of wheat bran, steamed fresh green beans or canned green beans, or plain canned pumpkin.
Less Fiber And Carbohydrates
Because fiber can be difficult for some older dogs to digest, some commercial diets designed for seniors tend to be lower in fiber, Dr. Lenox says.
Some senior diets tend to be lower in fiber versus adult diets, because they may have more trouble digesting and absorbing food, she says. While fiber can be difficult to digest, there needs to be some fiber in the diet, including a blend of different types of fiber in the same diet. Having a fiber blend can help promote optimal stool quality.
Dr. Freeman notes, however, that increased fiber may be useful for dogs with certain intestinal issues.
But high fiber foods are not right for all older animals, she emphasizes. For example, many of the commercial high-fiber diets would not be ideal for animals that have difficulty maintaining weight since these diets are typically low in calories.
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Why Does My Dogs Food Amount Matter
The right kind of nourishment helps keep your dog healthy. Overfeeding your dog can cause weight gain, which can lead to joint problems and other health issues.
Keeping portion sizes consistent and appropriate based on his age, weight and activity levels will help him maintain his ideal weight and remain active. Find out how your veterinarian assesses your dogs body condition with our Body Condition System.
Differences Between Senior Dog Food Vs Regular
Is there a difference between senior dog food, regular adult dog food, and food labeled “all life stages” or “multi-stage”? Not necessarily. In fact, some food products might be identical and only market differently that is, only the packaging changes. According to our experts, there’s no regulation of dog foods claiming to cater to seniors, which is why there’s so much confusion on the topic.
There certainly are, however, some dietary factors that can help manage the physical and medical changes dogs experience as they age. Here are some of the ways a senior dog diet might differ from a regular adult dog diet:
- Nutrient adjustments
- Added MCTs, omega-3s, and antioxidants
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Benefits Of Dry Dog Food Compared To Wet Dog Food
Dry dog food, or kibble, often offers certain benefits that wet food doesnt provide, such as:
Dental health benefits: Dry food encourages dogs to chew their food, which aids in preventing tartar buildup and secondary periodontal disease.
Convenience: Compared to wet food, dry diets are much easier to pre-portion, and they wont spoil if left out all day. This can be beneficial for dogs that are grazers.
Financially feasible: Depending on the brand of food, dry diets may be less expensive to purchase and store long-term.
Food enrichment: Kibble is easier to integrate into food puzzles and slow feeders that may improve a dogs quality of life through cognitive stimulation.
Can A Dog Survive With Just Wet Food
The mixing of wet and dry dog food or wet and dry cat food is fine just as long as both options are of good quality and meet your pets needs, including his or her nutritional composition and overall well-being. For your pets health and well-being, quality wet and dry foods contain all the essential nutrients needed.
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Cons Of Dry Food For Puppy
- Very active dogs need ample protein. If you choose a dry dog food for your pup, make sure the amount of protein is adequate if your dog is exceptionally active. Wet foods are generally higher in protein, but you can find dry dog foods such as Red Mills Engage and Leader Supreme with all the protein a hard working dog needs.
- Dry dog food can be difficult for dogs with dental problems to chew. It is more of a concern for senior dogs. Younger dogs should have good, strong teeth, so it isnt an issue in deciding between wet or dry food for a puppy.
Calories In Vs Calories Out
Its a term we are all familiar with – calories in must equal calories out. While its not exactly an all-encompassing term, it does make the point that we should be cautious of feeding our pets more calories than they are capable of using.
As our pets age, its common for them to slow down. Weight and activity levels should be monitored to help you identify the need for a change in diet, feeding guidelines, or routine.
While not every senior dog will slow down the same way, you should be prepared for subtle changes, and be able to respond accordingly.
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So What About Dry Food
Many people find dry food to be more convenient and cost effective compared to wet food. The easier storage and transport of dry food reduces excess costs for manufacturers and distributors than wet food and these savings are generally passed on to the consumer. Many pet parents choose to only feed their pet dry kibble, which is perfectly fine provided they drink enough water to compensate for the lack of moisture in the dry food.
From a convenience perspective, dry kibble is definitely a winner. An open bag of food will last months and can be placed in a storage bin or be kept in the original bag at room temperature. In comparison, an opened tin of wet food only lasts a couple of days and must be refrigerated. Due to its moist formulation, wet food cannot be left in the bowl as long or bacteria will set up camp.
Perhaps the biggest advantage with dry food is it’s effect on dental health, as dry kibble can help your pooch with their oral hygiene. The scraping of dry food against the teeth removes built up tartar and plaque to prevent nasty dog breath, gingivitis and dental disease. For pets particularly prone to dental conditions, there are special dental care kibbles such as as Hills Science Diet Oral Care and Advance Dental Dog Food.
Feed For Organ Health
Other factors to consider are senior dog health problems such as heart and kidney disease. For both conditions, youll want a low-sodium food. But, that same 2011 study found that sodium levels in senior foods ranged from 33 to 412 mg/100 kcal. For kidney disease, youll want low phosphorous, but thats not even mentioned on any label. The 2011 study found phosphorous levels varied by threefold in the senior foods they examined, but were on average higher than their representative adult maintenance food.
Prescription diets are available for heart, kidney, and other diseases that take into account these nutritional needs. However, even those foods may have wide ranges of nutrients. Any dog food manufacturer should be able to provide these numbers to you on their website or with a simple phone call. While youre at it, ask them about the credentials of the people formulating their foods. If they cant provide either, thats clue number one that you should find another product.
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What Are The Advantages Of Wet Food
Whilst dry food mainly brings advantages for the owner in terms of price, cleanliness and convenience, the advantages of wet food benefit the dog itself. Most dogs would probably opt for wet food if they could choose themselves, since wet food, more intense in smell and taste, simply tastes better to them. The high water content in particular has a positive effect: since the food already provides the body with a large quantity of liquid, it’s easier to cover a dog’s fluid requirements with wet food than with dry food. Hence, wet food is particularly recommendable for dogs that don’t drink much during the day.
For dogs that have a tendency to become overweight, wet food can also be the better choice at times, provided that the cause of the excess weight is that the dog loves eating. Dogs with a substantial appetite in particular often maintain a lower weight with wet food. Due to the lower energy content per portion, they can eat a great deal without exceeding their calorie requirements.
Giving Your Dog The Best Mix
There is no right or wrong when it comes to feeding your dog. What is important is making sure the pet food you choose provides your dog with the right amount of nutrients to meet their needs. At Eukanuba, our super premium dry and wet formulas are all complete and balanced. As wet and dry diets have various individual benefits, mixed feeding can be a solution to satisfy your dog’s needs and also their taste buds.
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Signs Of Aging In Dogs Include:
- Vision problems
- Lumps and other skin issues
- Weight loss or gain and
- Bad breath, excessive drooling, or other dental symptoms.
It is important to distinguish, too, between “aging” and “geriatric.” When you hear vets talking about geriatric dogs, they are usually referring to those toward the end of the senior period. Most will show some signs of aging like the above, and perhaps a few more severe symptoms, including:
- Memory loss
- Increased urination or urinary incontinence
- Osteoarthritis and
- Impaired mobility.
As your dog crosses into his golden years, keep an eye out for these signs, and remember to take him for regular checkups. Most vets recommend twice yearly visits for senior dogs so they can do a thorough physical exam and blood work to help detect changes in organ function or other internal issues. They can also make recommendations when it comes to senior dogs and nutrition and evaluate which symptoms and signs may benefit from a change in diet.
When Should You Switch Your Senior Dog To Soft Food
When it comes to dietary needs, every dog has individual needs, regardless of age. So there’s no one easy answer to the question of soft food versus hard food. Both types of food can provide your dog with the nutrition your dog needsproviding you are feeding your dog a quality dog food that is nutritionally balanced and complete.
If your dog has very specific health concerns, such as aging joints or weight issues, consult with your vet for more information about what type of food best addresses your dog’s needs.
That said, there are a few reasons why you may want to consider switching your senior dog to soft food.
As your dog gets older, his teeth may become more sensitive, which can make chewing kibble more difficult and even uncomfortable for him. Switching to a soft food will help to alleviate his oral discomfort when eating.
Remember, if your dog is experiencing serious pain at mealtime from a condition like tooth decay or gingivitis, switching to soft food certainly won’t remedy the problem. So make sure you talk to your vet about oral care and dental treatment.
Digestion begins in the mouth with saliva, so if your dog has a tendency to bolt down his meals, he may not be adequately chewing the food or adding enough saliva to it. Soft food can aid with digestion because it’s more easily broken down and therefore more easily digested.
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Pros Of Wet Food For Puppy
- Puppies will show a lot of enthusiasm for wet dog food. It has a stronger scent than dry. If your pup is easily distracted from their bowl at mealtime, wet food should hold their attention. You are not likely to see any leftovers.
- Wet puppy food offers your dog more hydration. If your dog is extremely active and not drinking much water, wet food can increase their moisture intake.
- If your pup seems insatiable and is always actively looking for more food, or gaining weight by eating too much, wet food might help. Dogs feel fuller after a meal of wet food because of the higher moisture content.
Should I Feed My Dog Wet Or Dry Food
Should I feed my dog wet or dry food is a common question that customers often ask us. But there is no one right answer because both wet and dry dog food have their own unique qualities that are beneficial to dogs. A dry dog food does help remove plaque and tartar from a dogs teeth. It is also less expensive than canned food. Canned dog food however, contains less fillers and preservatives than dry dog foods.
Most canned dog foods also contain a higher grade of nutrients and are higher in protein than dry food. Wet foods taste great to dogs, which means they will eat every speck of food you put in their feeding dish.
The main benefit to feeding your dog a dry food diet is that it is beneficial for its dental health. Eating dry food kibble helps strengthen a dogs jaw muscles in addition to removing some, but not all, of the plaque and tartar from a pets teeth. Wet food does not provide the abrasive action that helps clean the teeth.
But what if you have a new puppy? Should you be feeding it wet food or dry food? One of the most important responsibilities of raising a puppy is to provide the best quality dog food that will supply all the nutrients needed for the puppys growth and maintenance. Growing puppies need more protein than adult dogs to support their growing muscles and organs.
So, were back to the question, Which is better, dry dog food or canned?
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