Older pets may find it harder to digest certain foods or may need an extra dose of some vitamins. Your dog’s diet needs to be altered to suit his or her biological needs. Below are a few dietary alterations that are commonly made for senior dogs.
Watch their Weight: Obesity in senior dogs is common. This is usually because their diet does not change while their levels of activity comes down. Your dog is not burning as many calories as before and this leads to your dog putting on weight. But putting on weight at this stage will only put more strain on their bones and joints. Speak to a vet about how to best alter their diet without losing out on nutrition.
More Fibre: Senior pets are prone to constipation. Adding plenty of fibre to their diet is highly recommended because this encourages the smooth functioning of their digestive systems.
Soft, Yummy Smelling Food: Check to see if your dog is finding it difficult to chew dry kibble. Most seniors prefer softer foods that are easier to chew. Wet food is a great option for senior pets. Not only is it easy to chew but it also has a strong smell that tempts fussy eaters. As they age, a dog’s sense of smell becomes weaker so they may not be able to smell the dry kibble as well.
Add Antioxidants: Antioxidants that your pets can get naturally from their food helps strengthen their immune system. Many dog foods include this in their recipes so your pet benefits from them.
Treat them Right! Yes treats make dogs happy and yes, it is great to watch your dog’s eyes light up with joy. But extra treats every day can lead to your dog putting on weight. So switch to giving them healthy, nutritious treats that are low carb and control your treating habits!
Smaller Meals: Smaller meals are easier to digest. So, rather than serving your dog two big meals a day, consider three smaller meals.
Drinking enough water is important for your pet as the body’s ability to maintain water balance is reduced with growing age.
It may also be worth it to switch from conventional dog bowls to elevated dog bowls. This way your pets do not need to strain their necks while bending to eat their meals. When your dog approaches seniority, consult a vet or a pet nutritionist about changing his or her diet. This way you can be sure that your dog is still getting plenty of nutrition in their senior dog diet.