What Is The Best Senior Dog Food
When it comes down to it, there is no one best senior dog food. It is important to evaluate your own dog before making adjustments to his diet because every dog needs a different nutritional strategy. Just because your dog is a senior does not mean he needs senior food.
Many ‘adult’ or ‘all life stages’ foods may be as or even more beneficial than diets marketed for seniors.
Not All Senior Dogs Are Overweight
If your senior dog is at a good weight or starting to lose weight, then feeding him a food with reduced calories is a bad idea. Senior dogs start to lose weight for many reasons:
- As dogs age their sense of taste and smell begin to fade, making dog food less appealing
- A senior dogs appetite can diminish
- Senior dogs can have dental problems which make it harder for them to eat, especially kibble
- Senior dogs can have underlying health conditions that make them lose weight
There are lots of other reasons why a senior dog may be less interested or unable to eat. Anyone who has had a senior dog knows that getting an older dog to eat well can be a chore! You dont need to give one of these dogs reduced calories. Instead, I would recommend feeding them a food with lots of calories. Either continue to feed the dogs adult maintenance food or switch to an easy-to-digest food with more calories. And think about topping it off with some stew to make it taste better to your old guy. Try adding some water to kibble and warming up the food. This will also make it taste better.
If your dog is reluctant to eat, have your vet check his mouth and teeth to see if he has any dental or gum problems. A bad tooth can keep an old dog from eating. Get the tooth fixed and your dog might have a good appetite again.
If your older dog is overweight, then its better to help him lose weight by controlling his portion size and helping him get a little daily exercise than using a lower calorie dog food.
Complications Of Feeding Cat Food To Dogs
If your dog eats a lot of cat food on a regular basis, or if you are feeding your dog a diet of cat food instead of dog food, complications may arise, as it does not have the correct balance of protein, fiber, and all of the nutrients dogs need to stay healthy.
Dogs can certainly survive on cat food in a tough spot, but the nutrient imbalance can lead to gastrointestinal upset, obesity, and pancreatitis. Pancreatitis requires immediate veterinary care. Symptoms include abdominal pain and a hunched back, lethargy and weakness, appetite loss, vomiting and diarrhea, a distended abdomen, and fever. Even if your dog eats cat food and suffers no obvious ill effects, the high protein levels can be hard on his liver and kidney.
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What Do Dogs Eat
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Dogs have a reputation for eating anything and everything. Though some dogs can be picky when it comes to whats in their bowl, many dogs will eat just about anything they can fit in their mouths. In some cases, it doesnt even matter if its actually edible.
As a pet owner, you have many responsibilities to care for your pet. Your dogs health and well-being should be your top priorities. This includes making sure your dog gets the exercise and attention he craves, receives the veterinary care he needs and deserves, and is fed a healthy diet.
When it comes to choosing the best dog food, many pet owners find the sheer number of options overwhelming. It may take some time and a fair bit of research to choose the right product for your pup, but its well worth it. Providing your dog with a healthy and balanced diet is the key to maintaining long-term health and well-being. Health benefits of a balanced diet include healthy skin and coat, a strong immune system, and healthy digestive system functioning. All of this means more time you get to spend with your canine companion!
Heres what you need to know about what dogs can and cant eat.
My Dog Ate Cat Food What Do I Do
Dogs get into cat food all of the time. Some steal from the cats bowl, others break into food bags and containers. Eating cat food on occasion may lead to nothing more than vomiting and diarrhea, but this can vary from dog to dog. If your dog exhibits signs of intestinal discomfort after eating cat food, call your veterinarian.
If your dog regularly gets into cat food, it is best change where you keep your cats food or where and how you feed your cat.
As a general rule, try to discourage your dog from eating cat food unsupervised by placing it out of his reach. As always, pay attention to your dogs reaction when feeding him something new and talk to your veterinarian about any concerns you may have.
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What Should I Do If My Senior Dog Won’t Eat Their Food
Sometimes, we see older dogs that have lost at least some of their appetite. Causes for sudden loss of appetite are hugely carried both in scope and severity your dog could be suffering from simple nausea brought on by gastrointestinal problems, or they could be suffering from the effects of cancer.
Speak with your vet if your senior dog has suddenly begun to display an unexplained loss of appetite, to have them rule out any potentially serious causes including kidney disease, cancer, diabetes or dental disease.
Once serious medical conditions have been ruled out as the cause for appetite loss, another avenue for consideration is the simplest one–perhaps your dog is simply tired of their regular food.
Adding chicken broth, some water, or a small amount of canned food to your dog’s dry kibble supply may serve to make it more enticing. You could also try preparing a simple meal for your dog of cooked chicken and barley or cooked lamb and rice. These home-cooked meals are both nutritious, and bland enough to sit well with them if your older dog is experiencing some nausea.
Feeding Your Older Dog
As your dog ages, they need a diet to meet their more mature needs. Dogs are generally considered to be older or mature when they reach about half their life expectancy. This is around 7 years for small dogs and 5 years for larger dogs. There are also diets available for senior or aging dogs, which are often designed to be fed in their last few years of life.
Diets for older dogs are more easily digestible and contain a balance of nutrients that can help to compensate for some of the aging changes dogs can experience. This can include helping to support their joints, and reducing levels of nutrients that your dogs body might struggle to process when theyre older.
When your dog is aging, its even more important to monitor them closely to check how much theyre eating and drinking each day. Eating less, eating or drinking more, having less energy or losing weight can be a symptom of problems such as arthritis or dental problems. If youre worried, its important to speak to your vet for advice.
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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.
Older Dogs May Need More Protein
Maintaining muscle mass is vital for your dog’s health as he gets older. It’s important to provide your dog with enough protein, as his body may become less effective at synthesising protein with age.
This is why senior dog foods often contain higher quality protein sources. Meat and fish tend to be the easiest sources to digest, although some newer foods use insect protein. Cheaper protein sources, such as potato and soya, may be more difficult to digest.
There needs to be a balance when increasing protein though. Too much protein can put pressure on the kidneys – especially if your dog has kidney problems.
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Puppy Food Is Too Calorie Dense For Older Dogs
Aside from puppy food having the wrong dietary focus for your senior dog puppy food is very high in fat. Higher fat content makes puppy food very calorie dense. Healthy, senior dogs do not require foods that are focused on being calorie-dense. If youve ever considered a raw diet for your senior dog, you can come back to this beginners guide: Starting a Senior Dog on a Raw Diet.
What Type Of Feeding Schedule Works
Feeding freely anytime or leaving available food to your dogs all the time is not at all recommended by a veterinary. For various dog households or different species, free-feeding makes it difficult for different diets and tracks every dogs intake. Free feeding might also lead to obesity if dogs eat too much.
A schedule or routine can help your dog feel like a member of the family, avoid gazing, and encourage good mealtime behavior. Make sure to plan the schedule by consulting your vet.
The bottom line to know the feeding schedule of a dog
Now, as you know, How many times a day should a dog eat, you must also know that each one of them is unique, and you might have to alter the schedule as per the dogs activity level. It is also essential to adjust a dogs schedule as per yours.
The owner must keep in mind that a dog needs a schedule for everything, whether activity, feeding, or playing. Consistency is the key to maintaining a schedule and keeping your dog happy.
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Signs Its Time To Change Your Dogs Food
Choosing a dog food can be a painstaking process so much so that some of us stick with buying the same pet food for our dogs entire life. The truth is, says Dr. Jessica Vogelsang, we now know our pets dietary needs can and do change over time due to factors like their life stage, their overall health, and their activity level.
What Is A Nutrient Profile
A nutrient profile is a specific and unique combination of protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamins, and minerals. The nutrient profile of a senior dog will differ from that of a puppy. It will also differ based on your dog’s size and health – the nutrient profile of a healthy senior dog will be quite different than the nutrient profile for a senior dog with kidney disease.
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What Are Dog Feeding Charts
Dog feeding charts are required on dog food packaging. The layout of the chart, however, can vary from brand to brand.
If youre switching brands, pay close attention to ensure youre feeding your dog the correct amount based on his age and weight.
According to Dr. Harris, Dog feeding charts usually make recommendations for daily intake. So, if youre feeding your dog more than once a day, youll need to divide the amount recommended in the chart between those meals.
Heres a sample dog feeding chart similar to the one you will find on any dry dog food packaging:
|Adult Dog Size|
|100+||4-1/4 plus 1/4 cup for each 10 lbs of body weight over 100 lbs|
Note: Dog feeding amounts vary from product to product based on calorie content and formula. Consult the feeding chart on the back of your dogs food packaging. Individual needs can vary, so consult your veterinarian regarding special dietary needs.
At The End Of 2019 During Our Yearly Vet Check We Received The Devastating News That Our 11 Year Old Dog’s Blood Work Showed That He Was In Stage 4 Kidney Failure
Honestly, I was a basket case, how on earth did we miss this? He seemed like he was just dealing with some symptoms of getting older – frequent urination, sometimes excessive water drinking. It definitely didn’t feel like life threatening symptoms. As much as the diagnosis was a shock, the price tag of the prescription diet he would need to eat for the remainder of his life was pretty horrifying too!
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When Is A Dog Considered Elderly
There’s no strictly defined age when a dog changes from “adult” to “senior.” The age varies depending on the dog’s size, weight and health.
Big dogs tend to live shorter lives, so they are often considered senior at around 6-years old. Small breeds may not be senior dogs until they are 9-years old.
Size isn’t the only factor though. From a medical viewpoint, a dog might not be considered senior until he starts showing symptoms of aging. These include a change in weight, vision problems, or joint pain.
The dog’s weight also plays an important role. Overweight or obese dogs age more quickly, so are likely to be considered senior at a younger age.
Why Trust The Spruce Pets
For this roundup, we interviewed scoured information from veterinary and canine reference sources and interviewed several vets to talk about senior foods. We read dozens of senior dog food labels, read reviews, and talked to pet owners about the foods they give to their pets.
This article was researched and written by who has covered animals and pets for several decades. Mary Jo has fostered more than three dozen puppies and dogs and is always searching for the healthiest and most effective products for them.
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Dog Food For Senior Dogs: A Guide For Your Dogs Golden Years
For dog owners, the reality that our pets live such short lives means that we do everything we can to make our time together count. To ensure that their later years are as comfortable, healthy, and happy as possible, we need to make healthier decisions when choosing dog food for senior dogs.
If you have a senior pet, you might be wondering what you can do to preserve your old dogs quality of life. This article will help you understand the needs of senior dogs so that you can make the best feeding decisions for them. Here’s a quick breakdown of what we’ll cover:
How Much And When Should You Feed Your Dog
This will vary from dog to dog, but a general rule of thumb is for every 10 lbs your dog weighs they should be fed roughly 1 cup of prepared food.
For our 80 lb Hooch, that means 2 meals a day each containing 4 cups of food. It is important to note that, dogs with kidney problems often feel better when fed several small meals throughout the dayrather than just one or two large meals, so you may find that you need to adjust your feeding schedule as time goes on accordingly to keep your pup comfy!
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What Is The Difference Between Puppy And Senior Dog Food
Typically the three classifications you will see are puppy, adult dog, and senior. Puppy formula is designed for dogs up to two years of age while adult dog food is typically for dogs ages two through six. When it comes to senior dog food, this variety is usually for dogs seven years and older.
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