Healthy Aging In Our Dogs: A Guide to Keeping Them Healthier, Longer
Maybe he doesn’t chase every squirrel in the yard these days. Maybe he’s a little slower to get up to greet you when you come home. Then you notice there’s a little gray on his muzzle. Your dog is getting old. But the good news is: dogs are living much longer, fuller lives these days with the help of loving owners, caring vets and excellent supplements with quality ingredients.It's 2016 and there's a wealth of amazing tips, nutritional info and canine vitamin supplements at our fingertips!
Supplements for older dogs
Aging dogs have special nutritional needs, and some of those can be supplied in the form of supplements. Feeding a daily supplement that helps support joints is important. Some owners like to give their dogs Canine Health by LifeVantage, to help the problems associated with normal aging in our dogs, like decreased social interaction, loss of house-training, sleep disturbance and decreased mobility. Without getting all scientific, we attached the label that gives you a list of the ingredients in this supplement, that help our dogs. They support brain, skin and eye function, help joint function, mobility and flexibility as well as cognitive function.
Nutrition for older dogs
There's host of things we can do to keep our dogs healthy longer. We, as people are into eating healthy, taking vitamins and combating aging. Why not for our dogs?
Aging dogs need a well balanced diet that is lower in calories, but still has protein, fat and fiber. For some older dogs, we can continue to feed their regular food, but in a smaller amounts. Specially formulated senior diets are lower in calories and help to create a feeling of fullness. Lower fat usually translates to lower calories, so many senior diets have lower fat levels than adult maintenance or growth diets. Older dogs are more prone to develop constipation, so senior diets are often higher in fiber at around 3 to 5%. If your dog has significantly decreased kidney function, then a diet that is lower in phosphorus will lower the workload for the kidneys.
Still with us? Now, some older dogs suffer not from obesity, but from the other extreme: lack of weight gain and little interest in food. If your dog is getting thin and not eating, he should have a complete vet exam to rule out any possible diseases. If everything checks out, then trying to get the dog to eat is the next challenge. If your dog normally eats dry food, he may have a hard time chewing the large kibble. Feed kibble with smaller pieces or moistening the food with water, it will be easier to chew.
Homemade diets of boiled rice, potatoes, vegetables, and chicken or hamburger with correct vitamin and mineral supplements works well for some dogs. Just ask your vet which homemade diet recipe would be best for your dog. Don't ry to formulate one yourself, because the vitamin and mineral levels are important and they could be off.
So the bottom line is…
Older dogs are undergo many different physiological changes. To keep up with these changes, a diet that is suited for older dogs is important. Remember to keep up with exercise and keep weight under control. Your older dog needs regular vet checkups, and nutritional supplements. By following some of these basic tips, you can make these golden years some of the best years of your dog's life, and yours!