Senior Dog Food; Meeting Aging Canines’ Nutritional Needs
Getting old means weakness, less activity, and more dietary concerns. If you have started having similar concerns about your dog, you have come to the right place. Dogs can indeed get slow and eat less as they age. So, you must know what to do during their changing living patterns.
View Table of Contents
Aging Dogs- Basics
Although there is no strict criterion for an age to call a dog old. It depends on the breed, health, and weight of the dog. Dogs that are big in size age faster than small ones. Usually, a tiny dog lives to about 15-20 years and giant dogs have 12-15 years of life expectancy.
As a rule of thumb, dogs are considered old when they reach half their life expectancy. The pace of aging for dogs depends on their quality of health also. With time, dog owners see major physical and behavioral changes in their dogs. Changing weight, diet, activity, and vision could be signs of an aging dog.
Highly obese dogs face quick aging. Such dogs can be considered elderly at a very young age. Usually, dog owners start looking for diets, including soft dog food for senior dogs as their pooch ages. It helps dogs with teeth problems that developed over time.
Since aging affects a dog’s health, you must know the common health risks dogs face. It will be helpful to understand the nutritional needs of an aging dog.
Common Health Conditions in Aging Dogs
Many dogs face health conditions when they age. Their health can highly affect by the pace of aging and the necessary dietary changes. Since we all agree on considering our pet dog’s family, we must explore brands like Purina dog food to ensure quality.
Some common health conditions are:
Obesity is very damaging to dogs that face health conditions like diabetes. This health condition mostly occurs among middle-aged or elderly dogs. If a dog gains weight, it is more likely to suffer from diabetes. This contributes to insulin resistance in the body and can lead to greater health risks.
Heart problems are as common among dogs as human beings. With such a health condition, the dog’s heart does not pump blood properly. A dog may be born with heart disease. Aging can exacerbate it.
Fortunately, with the right diet, heart disease can be avoided and ended in dogs. Besides, different exercises can play a role too.
Ageing is one of the major triggers for liver problems in dogs. The liver problem can be genetic, but consumption of certain medications and food items can also cause it.
If you see symptoms like loss of appetite, signs of weakness, increased thirst, and weight loss in your elderly dog, do not think twice before consulting a vet.
Osteoarthritis is the most common kind of arthritis in dogs. This degenerative joint disorder leads to the deterioration of joints. Dogs suffering from this health condition face severe joint pain. It is common among aging dogs.
With the right diet, you can help your dog stay active. Besides, a healthy weight is also important to put less pressure on the joints.
Nutritional Needs for Aging Dogs
Since we covered the basics and certain health conditions of aging in dogs, now you need to explore the nutritional needs of an aging dog. As their physical health changes, their diet should also be changed accordingly.
Here are 5 dietary tips to consider for your aging dog:
A diabetic diet
Dogs suffering from diabetes should feed on a diet that is absorbed slowly. As your dog absorbs the food slowly, the pace of the blood sugar in the body will be slow. Usually, a diet that is high in fibre and low in fat is recommended for diabetic dogs.
Besides, losing some pounds is highly important if your pooch is obese. So, for diabetic dogs, it is crucial to stay slim and have normal diabetes levels. This can help them face aging healthily.
Limit Sodium Intake
Did you know that abnormal sodium intake can lead to heart disease in dogs? Unfortunately, that is true. As much as your pet dog loves the treats, they can highly damage its health in old age. Large amounts of salt in treats can affect the dog’s health in a bad way.
Another way of dealing with heart disease is taurine and an omega-3-rich diet. The diet can include fish oils and amino acids. If your pet is a heart-disease-prone breed, be aware of the signs and solutions. The sooner you realize it, the better.