Wet Food For Senior Dogs
Supplementing your senior pets diet with a wet meal is a great way to add additional hydration to their daily intake, as some senior pets can struggle to get enough water day-to-day, particularly in the summer. The high meat content of wet diets encourages palatability – so if your dog is struggling to eat their dry diet, offering some wet food alongside can help encourage eating. Note: Always consult with your vet if your senior pet has problems with their appetite or eating.
For optimal nutrition, feeding your senior dog a combination of both wet and dry foods in their diet can help them get the most out of mealtimes. To learn more about the beenfits of mixed feeding, visit our ‘What to feed your dog – wet or dry food?’ article.
As your dog progresses into their senior years, its a good to visit your local Animates Vetcare clinic to ensure you’re feeding your dog the correct diet for their for age, size, breed and any specific health needs.
Physical Changes Common To Senior Dogs
Even if your senior dog doesnt have an age-related health concern now, he or she still may be undergoing physical changes that would benefit from adjusting the food or feeding program. Youll want to be aware of these common changes that the majority of aging dogs face:
Changes in body weight
Some dogs tend to gain weight as they age because their metabolism slows, theyre not as active because their joints hurt, or theyve developed hypothyroidism . Regardless of the reason the extra pounds are adding up, the bottom line is that your older dog isnt burning as many calories as he or she is eating. If weight gain is a concern, some senior dogs benefit from eating food with less fat and fewer calories, or simply less food.
However, weight gain isnt a problem for all senior canines. As some senior dogs get even older, they start losing weight and need more calories than theyre eating. For these older dogs, your veterinarian might recommend a food thats higher in fat and calories.
Difficulty chewing or eating
Periodontal disease, a common problem for many senior dogs, can make it difficult for your dog to chew overly large or hard kibble. Until your senior dogs dental issues can be addressed, you may want to consider feeding an easier-to-chew kibble or canned food. You can also add a small amount of warm water to soften dry kibble to make it easier for your dog to eat.
Changes in muscle mass
More tummy troubles
Before You Start Cooking: Homemade Dog Food Needs To Be Balanced
Your homemade meal must contain protein, fiber and carbohydrates. Puppies require about 25 percent protein in their meals, while 18 percent is sufficient for adults. However, protein needs change according to your dogs age and vary according to breed, so check with your vet regarding the right amount for your dog. You might have noticed that commercial dog foods often dont list the percentage of carbohydrates. Thats because the proper percentage of carbs in the dogs diet is still not set in stone by the veterinary community and regulators. If youre making Fidos meals yourself, you have the freedom to purchase the freshest, highest-quality ingredients available. Make sure you weigh your dog frequently to verify he stays a healthy weight. Take your dog to the vet before starting the homemade diet so your vet can determine Fidos ideal weight.
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What Do I Need To Keep In Mind When Feeding An Adult Dog
The most important thing to keep in mind when feeding an adult dog is to make sure your dog eats a complete and balanced diet. Start by checking package labels for something called a statement of nutritional adequacy. It should say that the food meets nutrient profiles established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials or that it has passed feeding trials designed to AAFCO standards.
The statement also should say that the food is appropriate for adult maintenance or for all life stages. If your dog is overweight or inactive, stick with one labeled for adult maintenance. Food thats appropriate for all life stages contains extra nutrients needed for growth.
Homemade diets can provide complete nutrition, but making sure your pet gets the right mix of protein, fats, minerals, and vitamins can be difficult. Lisa M. Freeman, DVM, PhD, is a professor of nutrition at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. She tells WebMD that if you are going to prepare a homemade diet, you should consult a nutritionist certified by the American College of Veterinary Nutrition. The nutritionist can help you design a healthy diet for your dog.
Preparation Of Our Homemade Diet
All of the information above might seem intimidating, but I assure you that making the actual meals for our dogs takes no more than 20 minutes of actual hands-on time.
First, we cook our complex carbs, whether theyre grains, legumes, or starchy vegetables.
While that pot is simmering on the stove, we cook the meat in a separate pan in coconut oil and ground turmeric. After its cooled a bit, we add chunks of meat to our food processor and pulse until theyre broken down into 1/2- to 1-inch pieces.
Then, we gather whatever vegetables or fruits we have in the kitchen , chop them up as needed, and toss them into the food processor.
We also add a few clean, crushed eggshells to the mix. A few pulses turns all this food into smaller pieces, making them more digestible for our dogs.
Finally, we add the cooled, cooked carbs to the food processor and do a couple more pulses to combine. Everything should have a finely crumbled texture by this point.
Since dogs have short digestive tracts, its crucial that you break down the food to increase its bioavailability that is, making all the nutrients in those wholesome ingredients more digestible in a dogs system.
I prepare enough food to last my two pugs an entire week. Its unbelievably easy, and I like knowing exactly what goes into their food. Friends will watch us feed our pugs and remark that it looks good enough for them to eat!
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When Should You Be Concerned About Signs Of Aging
Any type of drastic change in your pet will warrant a vet visit. At an advanced age, conditions can worsen quickly, so if you notice something out of the ordinary, its not a bad idea to talk to a vet about it.
Many common illnesses that affect senior dogs can relate to digestion, kidneys, liver, heart, and cancer. Routine checkups are especially important for senior dogs, including blood work and urinalysis.
These tests can identify early warning signs of more serious illnesses. Prevention is important, and many conditions can be managed through diet and medication if caught early enough.
Check your dog regularly for lumps and bumps, monitor their routine, take note of changes to stool and urine, and track their activity, mobility and daily habits. The earlier you detect changes, the earlier you can respond and support your dog through this stage of life.
Every dog has different needs and seniors dogs often have more specific needs than most. Tell us how you support your senior dog’s needs in the comments below!
When Should I Start Feeding My Dog A Senior Dog Food
Every dog ages differently, but right around age seven, he may start to experience some internal changes, even if hes not showing any external signs of aging. Thats around the time that your dogs activity level may begin to slow down, and his metabolism may begin to decrease. His brain may also become less efficient at metabolizing glucose, which can lead to memory problems. Around age seven, you may want to think about switching him to a dog food for older dogs.
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For These Reasons Most Dog Owners Prefer Dry Food Over Other Types
What age do dogs eat hard food. Its soft texture is ideal for dogs who can no longer eat dry food, such as dogs who are aging or experiencing oral pain. That said, there are a few reasons why you may want to consider switching your senior dog to soft food. In addition, around age 7 for most dogs, and age 5 for giant breed dogs, metabolism slows down and the dog requires fewer calories .
Other aging dogs and cats, however, may benefit from changing to a senior diet. One of the most important changes to a senior dog’s diet isn’t related to the type of food, but the quantity. Add a joint supplement just as senior humans experience joint trouble, your dog is at risk of arthritis and pain.
On the other hand, if we serve just dry food, we could lose much of their food gratification because a biscuit will never be as aromatic as a wet food. Then, you can feed your puppy solid food when he’s around four weeks of age. The puppies’ mother will naturally start the weaning process when the dog’s teeth starts to come in.
This means that your puppy will be eating wet or dry food on his own by around 9 to 10 weeks old. It may not be unheard of, but its very rare. Then add ½ adult food and ½ puppy food.
Do senior dogs have special nutritional needs?. As dogs age, so do their teeth, making it hard for them to eat. This is because your dog still needs those nutrients and the milky mix is easier for him to chew.
You can consider feeding a senior dog food at this time.
Pin On Puppies Food
How To Buy The Best Senior Dog Food According To Veterinarians
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As your dog gets older, finding the right senior dog food is an important part of keeping your stay-at-home buddy happy. Weve previously covered the best dog food to consider, as well the best dry dog foods and even dog treats but how do you decide whats best for an older dog?
Pets age at different rates than humans age, says KT Boyle, DVM, of the Banfield Pet Hospital, noting that large breed dogs like Great Danes can be considered senior at six years old but smaller breeds like miniature poodles may not become seniors until they turn 10 years old. While age is a factor, Boyle suggests keeping an eye on your dogs energy level, whether or not they have white hair on their face and whether you notice a blue haziness or cloudiness, known as nuclear sclerosis, in their eyes. Talk to your vet if you notice your dog slowing down or exhibiting physical changes to determine if a change in diet could help. To that end, we consulted animal experts on how to shop for senior dog food and compiled some of the best senior dog foods available now.
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When Should You Switch Your Dog To Senior Food
Thats around the time that your dogs activity level may begin to slow down, and his metabolism may begin to decrease. His brain may also become less efficient at metabolizing glucose, which can lead to memory problems. Around age seven, you may want to think about switching him to a dog food for older dogs.
What Are The Characteristics Of A Good Senior Diet For Dogs
The older dog will need a good, well-balanced diet that is lower in calories, higher in fiber and has adequate protein and fat. For some older dogs, you can continue to feed their regular food, but in a smaller quantity. Specially formulated senior diets are lower in calories and help to create a feeling of fullness. If your dog has significantly decreased kidney function, then a diet that is lower in protein will lower the workload for the kidneys. Lower fat usually translates to lower calories so many senior diets have a fat level of around 8 to 12%. Older dogs are more prone to develop constipation, so senior diets are higher in fiber at around 3 to 5%. If your senior dog will eat dry food, it will help to control tartar build-up and reduce gum disease.
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Does Your Dog Need Senior Dog Food
Editor’s Note: This is a guest post on the Grey Matters Blog and not written by anyone affiliated with Grey Muzzle. We allow guest contributors from time to time in order to provide our supporters with a wide range of topics pertaining to senior dogs.
As our dogs get older and enter their senior years, their bodies change. Their activity levels may drop and new health issues may pop up. One of the key pillars of health is diet – what we feed our dogs is important. So do we need to feed our dogs senior dog food to keep them healthy? Is it worth switching them to a different dog food if theyre already eating adult dog food? These are the questions well try to answer by comparing senior dog food against other dog food lifestages.
What is Senior Dog Food?
Many dog food companies create dog foods with senior in the name, or labeled for the senior lifestage. It might surprise you to learn that there are no standards for what makes a senior dog food. The AAFCO has no senior lifestage guidance for dog food nutrients, so every manufacturer can create any formulas they want to market as a senior dog food.
This is the first important thing to remember. Senior dog food may be marketed as a better diet for older dogs, but theres no agreed upon standards for that actually being the case. As a result, you shouldnt feel that you need to feed your dog a senior dog food or that you need to switch them from an adult dog food as they get older on the basis of age alone.
Make Food Palatable For Senior Dogs
There are practical aspects of feeding your dog to consider, too. Senior dogs may have dental problems that make chewing difficult or uncomfortable. These dogs should first be treated for whatever problem they have, but if that is impossible or unsuccessful, consider wetting their food or feeding them canned or soft food. Simply feeding a smaller kibble size may help if youre feeding dry food.
Senior dogs may be uncomfortable bending down to the food bowl or standing for long periods to eat. Try serving their meals on a raised platform or encourage them to eat lying down.
Very old dogs often lose their appetite. Warming the food can increase its aroma and may help stimulate the appetite cooling it may make it less nausea-inducing in queasy dogs. At some point you may have to abandon your goal of a healthy balanced diet and just feed him whatever he will eat. The wait until hes hungry enough tactic doesnt work in seniors because their hunger mechanism may not be working correctly. Besides, its a little late to be worried about spoiling himand even if you do, doesnt he deserve it?
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Store Dry Food Properly
Dry complete foods should be stored in a dry, clean environment. You can help keep the food smelling and tasting great by keeping it in re-sealable packaging or an airtight container.
When it comes to mealtime, feed your older dog in a quiet place where they can eat in peace without being interrupted. If you have more than one dog, feed them at the same time but separately so that one doesnt bully or snatch food from the other.
What About Wet Food Versus Dry Food
While some dogs with dental issues may find wet food easier to eat, dry food is more convenient and doesnt spoil easily. A call to the vet will help line up your dogs needs with the right food and Boyle recommends letting your dog try both wet and dry options. Switching from dry to wet food or vice versa can be more difficult if they are picky eaters, Boyle says. So it can be a good idea to expose pets to both types of food during their lifetime.
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Should Senior Dogs Take Supplements
Many older dogs struggle with arthritis and joint pain. To address this problem, many senior dog foods contain glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate, which Nunez says may help the joints.
Metzger also says that owners who decide to give their dogs glucosamine and chondroitin supplements should use veterinary formulations, not human ones.
Although such supplements may be useful, dogs with joint problems and arthritis benefit more from slimming down, Nunez says. People think glucosamine is the best thing, but the very best thing is weight management.
Learn All About Grains In Pet Food
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Dog Articles: Health
Puppy, adult and senior: all three stages are important times in your furry pals life when its appropriate to ask your veterinarian about your dogs diet.
Thats usually when your puppy is nearing his adult height and can transition to adult food. Spaying or neutering usually occurs at this age as well, lowering your dogs need for increased energy hence a reason to switch from puppy to adult dog food.
Breed size matters
Switching to adult food coincides with maturity, but due to the large variety of breeds, different dogs mature at different rates. Smaller breeds tend to mature faster than larger breeds:
Dogs up to 30 pounds mature around 10 to 12 months of age.
Some toy breeds can mature as early as seven to nine months old.
Medium breeds, up to 80 pounds, mature between 12 to 16 months.
Large breeds can mature at 12, 13, or even 14 months old.
Giant breed dogs can take up to two years to reach full maturity.
No more three squares a day
Most pet parents feed two half-portions of adult food when their dogs are over a year old.
Eyes on your furry friend. Not his food.
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