Feeding Older Dogs: The Puzzled Owner’s Guide

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We all love our dogs. And there is no better reward for all our hard work and concern than having a senior dog in our midst – a dog that has seen it all and has accompanied us and our families through thick and thin.
Unfortunately, senior dogs tend to be fickle eaters. This can cause obesity and malnourishment in some cases. Here are some tips to make sure that your dog stays healthy during its senior years:
1. Senior dogs are not as strong or as adaptable as younger dogs. In old age, dogs tend to lose many of their former strengths, including their ability to eat almost anything.

That‟s why it‟s important to adjust the daily diet of your senior dog to fit his new needs. The food that your dog was accustomed to when it was two years old is not the same food that your dog needs in old age. We‟re not only talking about the type of food that your dog is being given, but also the volume and frequency of the feedings.

2. Senior dogs have weaker teeth and gums, which makes these dogs more prone to developing cavities. Avoid giving older dogs sugary treats – they might like such treats, but they‟re not really good for your dog‟s health anymore.

3. With age comes less physical activity. Like humans, dogs can suffer terribly from a sedentary lifestyle at old age. If exercise is not a feasible strategy for your dog‟s weight loss, then you may want to alter your dog‟s diet
or the amount of food that your dog receives per feeding.

4. Unlike younger dogs, senior dogs need lots of fiber to keep their digestive tract healthy and clean. The daily food you serve to your dog should have around three to five percent fiber. Cut down on the fat but maintain the protein content of the food.

5. Is your older dog suffering from lack of interest in its regular food? Don‟t panic: an older dog ignores food for a good reason.

Maybe your dog is having a hard time digesting the food? Or perhaps your dog is having trouble masticating or chewing the food? Try adjusting the portions and sizes of the food that you give your older dog and see what happens. Additional moisture in the dog food usually helps older dog eat regularly again.

  

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