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12 November 2020
Some dogs are considered seniors as early as 5 years old depending on their breed.
As dogs age, their nutritional requirements change which is why senior dog food is specifically formulated for the needs of senior dogs. Senior dog foods are generally lower in calories and total fat considering their metabolism slows over the years, and excess energy, especially in the form of fat can lead to obesity and buildup of fat deposits within the arteries. Additionally, diets that are higher in fiber may help with weight management in senior dogs. High quality diets that are highly digestible are also important for the senior pet, whose digestive system may also be declining and have more difficulty extracting and utilizing nutrients from a low-quality diet. Moderate, but adequate protein is a particularly important nutrient to look for, as senior dogs still need sufficient protein to maintain their lean body mass, but excessive protein is unnecessary.
Two supplements to look out for that are especially important for senior dogs are chondroitin and glucosamine which offer hip and joint protection. Our SubZero formulas are rich in both chondroitin and glucosamine. Likewise, a diet rich in DHA, such as our Infusion Healthy Senior dog food, a long-chain omega-3 fatty acid that comes from ingredients such as salmon oil, may play a role in fighting against cognitive losses. Additionally, coconut oil can be used to provide a readily available source of energy for the brain to benefit cognitive function.
A fun trick to encourage your senior dog to enjoy mealtime is to combine their kibble with canned food which increases palatability, helps keeps pets hydrated, and is an easy way to introduce variety in your dog’s everyday diet.
It is important to note that all pet parents should consult with a veterinarian for professional diagnosis and treatment of their pets. This information is not intended to replace the advice of a veterinarian or veterinary nutritionist.