As your dog ages, their nutritional needs will change and so too, must their diet. Our Riverside vets explain exactly what you need to know to meet your dog's nutritional requirements as they enter their golden years.
Why should I change my dog's food?
You may notice your dog has slowed down over the past couple of years — perhaps they don't want to play fetch for hours anymore, or they get tired halfway through the walk they used to complete with ease. If your dog is going through the changes that come with aging, it's important that their diet chances with their needs.
Since your dog isn't using as much energy, they don't need to be eating as many calories in a day. Not switching to a low-calorie diet can contribute to unhealthy weight gain, which can put stress on your dog's joints and reduce their quality of life.
On the other hand, adding more protein to your senior dog's diet can help support healthy muscles, which in turn helps support their joint health. Immune function can also be impaired as muscle tissue is lost, which decreases the body's ability to respond to infections and physical trauma.
What type of dog food is best?
As your dog ages, their nutritional needs will change significantly. Because they're becoming less active, the best dog food for older dogs should reflect this change. Our vets in Riverside recommend foods with these nutritional aspects:
- No high-risk preservatives
- Low in sodium
- Low fat
- High fiber
Because every dog is different, we recommend speaking with your veterinarian to discuss the right dog food for your four-legged friend.
Why dry food?
Dry dog food are still recommended for older dogs because as they age, they are at higher risk for dental issues. Hard, crunchy foods combined with adequate dental care keep your dog's teeth strong and healthy.
While there are some benefits, if you are purchasing dry dog food simply to clean your dog's teeth, then it might be more beneficial to buy dry prescription dental dog foods. They force dogs to actually chew their food and help reduce plaque and tartar buildup, but no matter which dog food your pooch is on, they still require proper dental care.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. Please make an appointment with your vet for an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition.