Like humans, a dog’s need changes as he advances in age. If you are over 50 or more, then you will understand that your dietary prerequisites are different to when you were a youth. This is the same for dogs. As dogs advance in age, their metabolism slows down and they become less active. This is why their dietary needs change.
As a general guideline, a 7 years old dog is likened to a 50 years old man in age. Older dogs require fewer calories from their diet to prevent them from becoming overweight as they are more prone to weight issues. Protein is still essential to maintain muscle mass and a good body posture.
Nowadays, pets are living longer (which is great news) with the higher quality of nutrition and veterinary care available. But the side effect is that they are at risk of developing age-related conditions such as kidney disease, canine Alzheimer’s, and arthritis.
Some symptoms of these problems can include changes in behavior and weight, sleeping more, bad breath, uncontrolled drinking and urination. It is your responsibility to look for these signs as your dog advances in age.
Prevention, they say is better than cure. The best way to avoid these diseases is by switching dog food. This switch ought to specially formulated foods for older dogs. These foods will help prevent the age-related diseases and also slow down aging.
Older dog diets should contain:
Essential Fatty Acids (Omega-3 And Omega-6)
Both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids help promote a strong immune system, enhance cell growth, and maintain healthy skin. If your old dog is not getting enough fatty acids, you will start to observe these signs of deficiency: hair loss, dermatitis, dry and flaky skin, and dull coat. The proper, appropriate amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids may benefit dogs with a coat, and skin problems. This can be achieved by feeding your dog with fatty acids or fatty acid supplements, or them both. Essential fatty acids are the most economical and convenient solution to feed older dogs.
Optimum Levels Of Fiber
Fiber should be added to your dog’s diet in the form of steamed fresh green, wheat bran, plain canned pumpkin, or canned green beans.
High Quality Protein
Feeding older dogs with lower quality foods over time could cause serious health issue associated with the kidney and liver. Therefore, a sufficient amount of high-quality proteins is exactly what older dogs need.
Older dogs require more minerals than younger ones, which is why dosing is so vital when it comes to supplementation and food. However, it is important to understand the various functions of minerals. Minerals are multi-functional in nature and do a lot more than just support and maintain healthy bones and joints in dogs.
Zinc is very important in promoting healthy immune responses and stimulating bone formation activity.
Potassium supports heart health. Experts say carbohydrates are good sources of potassium.
Boron assumes a major role in calcium integration and metabolism, and also has vital ramifications for joint health.
Iron plays an important role for healthy blood formation and transporting oxygen throughout your dog’s body. High quality meat is a source of iron for older dogs.
Calcium is essential in bone density, but supports proper muscle contraction and healthy heart function.
Vitamins A, B-12, C, E
Vitamin A plays an essential role in weight loss and also helps older dog burn more fat. Liver is a good source of this vitamin.
Vitamins A and E contributes to your dog’s skin and eye health. They fight disease and stave off the aging process. These vitamins help your dog but more fat and loss weight as a result. Eggs are great source of both vitamins A and E.
Vitamin B-12 helps in cell growth and development.
Vitamin C is vital to both human and dogs. It promotes healing, boost the immune system, and fight disease.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin
Glucosamine is naturally found in your dog’s body which is mostly found in healthy cartilage. Give your older dogs with foods rich in glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate to help support healthy cartilage and joint.
Age 7 is the standard age at which you need to change your dogs’ diet. However, this age varies according to breed. For example, a smaller dog will start slowing down when it attains 7 years of age, while this same process will happen to larger dogs at around 5 years old.
Side effects of age-related diseases are usually detected when there has been critical damage, so be vigilant and don’t wait until you notice strange behaviors from your dog. For instance, kidney disease is one common disease among older dogs, yet the symptoms will only appear once 75% of kidney function has been lost.