Senior Dog Food (7+ years old)
Published on November 2, 2018
Why feed your pet senior dog food?
As dogs age, we often observe a change in our pet’s behavior as they slow down a little. However, before we see these changes, our dogs are going through physiological changes that are not visible to us. These are primarily nutritional changes such as a decrease in nutrient absorption.
When do I need to switch to senior dog food?
Large breed dogs mature at a more rapid pace and are considered to be senior as early as 5 years of age, whereas small breed dogs are considered to be senior when they are around 10 years of age. At Vetdiet®, we target specific nutrients and functional ingredients to provide the best nutrition possible for your dog based on their age and breed size.
We recommend following the age guidelines as well as your veterinarian’s advice to determine when your dog is ready for senior dog food. Switch your pet to a senior dog food before you start seeing the obvious signs of aging. A simple rule of thumb: When your pet reaches the last 25% of their breed’s predicted life span, it’s time to make the switch.
Vetdiet® senior dog food is specially formulated to account for the changes occurring as your dog approaches their golden years.
What to do if my senior dog won’t eat?
As some dogs age they begin to lose their appetite. Before trying anything, you should always check with your veterinarian first to determine whether their loss of appetite is due to a more serious underlying cause. If your veterinarian says everything is fine, then you should consider doing one or all of the following:
- Your senior dog may need to eat at precise times during the day. If you feed your dog at varying times every day, try sticking to a feeding schedule.
- Often times mixing some wet food with your dry kibble can help encourage your dog to eat. You can also switch from kibble to wet food, but keep in mind you will need to feed more volume of wet food as it has fewer calories per unit of weight.
- Poor dental health is not uncommon in aging dogs. Many dogs suffer from mouth pain, which can cause them not to eat. It is recommended to mix your dog’s dry food with a little warm water to soften the kibble.
What to look for in senior dog food?
As your dog begins to approach the senior stage, it is recommended to feed a food that is specially formulated to deliver the nutrient balance and calorie level for senior dogs. As dogs age, they need a highly digestible formula as their bodies do not digest and absorb nutrients as efficiently. Also, their activity begins to decline and their calorie needs are fewer.
You should look for a senior dog food that contains high-quality ingredients such as poultry or meat, which provide highly digestible protein. It should also provide a balance of other nutrients at specific levels to meet the needs of senior dogs. By feeding your senior dog a diet such as our Vetdiet® senior formula, you will help ensure they will enjoy the longest and healthiest life possible.