As your dog enters their golden years, you may notice changes in their energy level or behavior. In this post, our Concord vets are share some advice on what food is right for your senior dog's new needs to keep them healthy as they age.
Why Change their food?
Maybe you noticed your pooch isn't as excited to play fetch these days, or maybe they start to slow down on walks after only a couple blocks. These are signs that your dog is slowing down as they enter their senior years, so it might be the right time to start thinking about some dietary changes!
If your dog isn't using as much energy, they don't need to be eating as many calories in a day. Changing to a low-calorie alternative can reduce risk of your dog gaining unnecessary weight, thereby also benefitting their joint health by preventing that extra weight from being added on.
Additionally, a bit more protein in their diet can help support healthy muscles and joints. Decreasing muscle mass is common in older dogs, which protein-strong diets can help counteract.
What Type of Dog Food Is Best?
Your dog's nutritional needs change with age as they become less active, The best dog food for senior dogs should reflect this change. Our Concord vets recommend dry foods with these nutritional aspects:
- Low Calorie
- Low in sodium
- No high-risk preservatives
Keep in mind, every dog is different from breed to size to genetic make-up. Consult your veterinarian for a more accurate breakdown of what diet would best benefit your senior pup.
Why Dry Food?
Our Concord vets recommend that high-quality dry dog food is best for older dogs because as they age, they are at higher risk for dental issues. Hard, crunchy foods combined with diligent dental care keep your dog's teeth strong and healthy.
If you're using dry dog food to help with your dog's dental health (chewing hard food in order to clean the teeth), you may be better off with a prescription dental health dog food. 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.