Smart Food For Senior Dogs

By Mary Kirkland

Smart Food For Senior Dogs

Unlike giant and large-size dogs that are considered seniors at 5 and 6 years old, respectfully, a small and medium-size dog usually doesn't experience age-related changes that early. But by the age of 7 years old, however, your mid-size dog is thought of as a senior pet. Its nutritional requirements are also changing. You can help keep your dog active, happy and healthy with a diet that delivers highly digestible, enhanced nutrition.

Recognizing the Signs of Aging
The changes your dog is experiencing right now affect it in many ways. You may notice that your dog could have a dull, dry coat and flaky skin, declining activity or weight gain, decreased immune system response, more frequent intestinal problems, joint stiffness and a loss of lean muscle mass. Experts believe that senior dogs may require fewer calories, but to address special mature concerns, your pooch still needs high-quality protein and carefully balanced nutrients.

What to Look for in a Senior Dog's Diet
Your dog needs a quality, balanced food formulated for its changing metabolism. Look for options with these age-essential dietary components:

  • Vitamin-rich fish oils for healthy skin, a shining coat and overall health
  • Antioxidants, such as vitamin E and beta-carotene, to help boost the immune system
  • Quality, animal-based protein sources to help maintain muscle mass
  • A special fiber source, such as beet pulp, to help maintain intestinal health and to enhance your dog's ability to absorb age-essential nutrients
  • Special carbohydrate blends of healthy grains for sustained energy

These components are key to an aging dog's nutrition whether you choose dry or canned dog food. They also will help you to select healthier, age-appropriate treats.

Meeting Special Needs
Older, less active dogs are prone to weight gain. Controlling your dog's weight can help to protect against health effects, such as diabetes or joint stress. Your dog will benefit from a senior diet that has weight-controlling characteristics:

  • A reduced fat level that still offers essential nutrients for skin and coat health
  • L-carnitine, a key nutrient that helps burn fat and maintain muscle mass during weight loss
  • Special carbohydrate blends that help maintain energy while managing weight
  • Vitamin-rich fish oils for overall health.

With a minimum investment of time and effort, you may increase the chances that your aging companion will likely be at your side for many more years to come.

Mary Kirkland is a freelance writer with a specialty in animal issues and needs.

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Posted on November 13, 2007

Sandie says: I have a dog name Semoe. He is from the pound. I got him when he was a 1year old. He was a stray. He is not a big dog he is a meduim-size dog He is a mix terror. He show lots of gray under his chin. He has very little engery. Should I change his food or not.

Posted on November 21, 2007

Nikko Dutton says: My lab Ozzy has given me the best 13 yrs. I could ever ask for. But now he is loosing his hearing and I have looked all over for a way to help him with this problem. I know that there has got to be a hearing aid out there for dogs but I can"t find it. Please help! They have everything to help hunters hear a deer coming from a mile away can"t we just enhance what hearing he has left? Thank you for any help you can give me.

Posted on February 9, 2012

Ahmed says: my dog don’t like dog food if I give him a treat what could be??? paslee reply to my so i know what to do……

Posted on March 11, 2012

Alain says: Dear Darcie,Words especially words of hate and doncintest sure do hurt, they hurt to the bone!Know that you are loved and respected not only by Wolf-Talker and the Kernersville Pack for from your blog we have come to love you for the true person you are! People are so blind that they cannot see beyond their own misconseptions of what they believe to be right and wrong! And just like the horse with blinders on they do not see the full picture and never will! Do not grieve over others stupidity! That Darcie is their problem and not yours.Just like the mythical Phoenix you and Sit-Stay will rise from the ashes to soar again into the heavens. And squadron motto from one I was assigned to long ago The Impossible we do first, Miracles take a little longer This dear Darcie is you.Darcie you have a heart of gold when it comes to dogs and people too, unfortunately that heart wounds easily.You are also love and respected by hundreds if not thousands of people and their dogs that you have touched over the years! Always share with us and let us be your army that would and will be ready willing and able to protect and defend you if necessary! We will always be here for you!Know too that no problem is too big or too small to take to the one who gave you that heart of gold, the Spirit-in-the Sky (the Great Spirit). He will unburden and heal that heart! He is the creator of all living things and knows when a wounded heart needs to be mended!This day I will offer a prayer to him for you and Sit-Stay. I will ask him to place his hand on your shoulder to guide you and to keep you forever in the palm of his hand to protect you.More than this I cannot offer you. One last word Believe ! -Wolf-TalkerDear Wolf Talker, I keep meaning to tell you, I finally had time to read what you sent to me. It was wonderful, I enjoyed reading it. Thank you so much for your support! Darcie

Posted on April 20, 2012

Ruanur says: if your older dog is balanced', then there is nniothg to lose. The little one can learn from you as a pack leader' and get the balance' from the other dog.I think the main trick is that you are the leader, the dog is living in the now and will learn if you teach ignore bad behaviour work, exercise, feed and affection. My dog's have always followed and it has always been a great honour that I have enjoyed. good luck!

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