As dog owners, you’d surely want only the best for your pet dogs. Just like people, they have different needs depending on how old they are. Food remains to be one of the primary necessities of dogs.
There are different kinds of dog food, each of which are formulated to suit various age categories of dogs, given that each of these stages of growth and development have different nutritional needs, which have to be addressed in order for you to enjoy them and keep them as companions for the longest amount of time possible.
Why Should Your Dog take Senior Dog Food?
Senior Dog Food is a specialized kind of dog food that made especially for dogs that belong to the older age bracket. It is different primarily in terms of its formulation, which would be tackled more in detail in this article.
Just like regular dog food, senior dog food is also packed with the important nutrients which are necessary for dogs across all age brackets. Much of the contents in regular dog food, however, aren’t really that needed for your old mutts.
Furthermore, just like humans, dogs that are advanced in age would leave them more susceptible to diseases and other health issues. Most of these conditions are primarily brought about by diet, given that we would always want to take care of our pets.
While our beloved dogs can’t really live forever, it would be best to give them the appropriate food specifically formulated for senior dogs in order for them to have a healthy life during the latter part of their lives.
When should your Dog be taking senior Dog Food?
Being a “senior dog” would actually vary from breed to breed. You have to know what breed your dog is in order for you to determine whether or not you should start making a shift from regular food to senior dog food in their diet. On average, smaller breeds have longer lives than giant ones.
To be more specific, 38 per cent of small breeds live to be 10 years or older, while only 13 per cent of large breeds get to live past a decade. Certain breeds, however, have documented average lives of as long as 15-16 years. Despite that, one should consider making a shift in a dog’s diet whenever they reach 6 years for larger breeds, and 7 years for smaller ones.
Other estimates also suggest that the seniors for dogs begin much older, at 10 years of age. This is most especially true if certain “old age” problems among your pet dogs start to manifest and persist, such as heart ailments, issues with digestion, relative inactivity, so on and so forth.
Key Differences of Senior Dog Food
- Nutritional Contents
One of the primary ways on how senior dog food is different from the other dog food would have to be its Nutritional Content. These senior dog foods are higher in fiber content compared to ordinary or regular dog food. This is so in order to aid with digestion.
Also, these have lower levels of fat, as older dogs also tend to be more susceptible to heart disease. Some dog food variants have also incorporated Omega-3 fatty acids, which may help to ease arthritis symptoms among older dogs.
Furthermore, in order for be classified as “senior” pet food, it should, ideally contain 18% and 5% of crude protein and fat, respectively. Apart from this, it’s important that essential nutrients, such as calcium and phosphorus should be present in its formulation to promote stronger bones and healthier muscles.
Over-all, in terms of nutrition, senior dog foods are characterized by having lesser amount of protein, lower levels of phosphorous and sodium, inclusion of anti-oxidants, as well as leaner proteins, and a much lower amount of calories per serving.
The amount of calories, however, varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, with the lowest calories per 1 cup lower than 250, with the highest being greater than 400 calories. In looking for senior dog food for your older pups, make it a point to check the label before making that purchase.
As with all other kinds of food, it is ideal that the ingredients of dog food would be derived from natural sources. The best kinds of senior dog food does not vary that much in terms of the kind of ingredients, but rather, the quantity.
This is because it’s best for dog food of all types to be derived from lean meats and plant sources which are healthy for dogs.
Is senior dog food good for all senior dogs?
Despite age being a determining factor when it comes to the type of food that would comprise the dog’s diet, the reality is that not all dogs who have reached the age of 6 or 7 years old in human years would have to go through this stringent diet. This is because individual needs for a dog would also matter.
The over-all health of your dog, their activity, as well as disease that they may have would most definitely have an influence as to the kind of foods that your pet should be eating. Because of this, some dogs have more nutritional needs, while some do not.
In order for you to make sure that your dog stays as healthy as possible, make it a point to have a consultation with your vet to determine the right kind of dog food your pet should be consuming.
In a nutshell, no matter how young or old your dogs are, the important thing is that they should be kept at optimal health. Apart from regular physical activity, as well as keeping their environments safe and comfortable, a dog’s well-being is influenced by the essential nutrients they get from the food that they eat.
In order for the dog’s essential nutrients to be kept in check, it would be best for you to pick varieties of dog food which is appropriate for their age, as well as their over-all health condition.