When a dog reaches the last quarter of their lives, they are considered a senior. They are often not as active, gain weight and may have health problems. They require a dog food specifically formulated for senior dogs. Although this type of food has been in existence a long time, it has greatly changed due to scientific advances. A good example is a senior dog with kidney problems. This can be caused by too much protein, and this has been decreased in senior food for the past ten years.
A senior dog food should be formulated with 24 percent of the protein derived from animal sources including chicken to help maintain optimal health. Senior dogs have serious concerns regarding high blood pressure, and less salt or sodium is important. This is reduced in senior dog food due to research showing while a dog requires an appropriate amount of salt, it must not be excessive.
The caloric density in senior formulas is decreased by twenty to thirty percent for every serving in comparison to adult formulas. Since many dogs consume a bowl or cup every day, this decrease is substantial. It s also important to realize the caloric needs of smaller, medium and large breeds do differ. The best way to find out which senior food is right for you dog is to speak to their veterinarian.
Most senior dogs are consistently combatting an increase in inflammation due to aging. Arthritic conditions can be combatted with omega-3 fatty acids like chondroitin and glucosamine. For certain dogs, there is still not enough of these important acids in senior foods and supplements will be required.
A dog is considered a senior when they are around the age of 11, but the larger breeds should be switched to senior dog food one or two years sooner. Most veterinarians do not believe a dog should be experiencing the symptoms of aging before their food is switched. The senior food is meant to be proactive and help prevent problems opposed to treating them. To prevent any difficulties with digestion or an aversion to the new dog food, the switch should be gradual. Simply add a little senior food to the dog’s regular food every day. Continue increasing the new food and decreasing the old for approximately ten days. At this point the dog will be eating strictly senior food. When the food is switched too quickly, a serious GI upset can result.
There is no one-size-fits-all dog food. The idea is to find not a perfect food, but a senior food that is perfect for your dog. The dog’s veterinarian can help guide you to a food that will address any health concerns and help prevent diseases. The right food can additionally help extend the life of the dog. Five of the senior dog food options with excellent reviews are described in detail below.
Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Longevity was created for dogs age seven or older, and the formula has been proven clinically nutritional. The food contains vitamin C+T and antioxidants to support an older dog’s immune system. The other high-quality ingredients include essential vitamins, amino acids, essential minerals and no artificial ingredients. The food is all-natural, with no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.
Nutro Ultra Senior Chunks is a canned dog food with gravy. The senior formula contains protein from three lean animals, pasture fed lamb, salmon and farm-raised chicken. This formula was created to target senior dogs and contains the right levels of vitamins, protein and nutrients. Glucosamine and chondroitin have been added to help ensure healthy joints and hips. There are no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives added. This is a healthy and all-natural senior meal.
Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Senior Chicken Dinner is a canned dog food with garden vegetables. The formula contains barley, peas and whole ground brown rice for complex carbohydrates to ensure senior dogs have energy throughout the day. This is a wet food formula, and chondroitin and glucosamine have been added to help ensure healthy joints and hips. This formula does not contain any wheat, and is all-natural. The dog’s skin is kept nourished and their immune system is boosted by the Biotin and chelated minerals added to the formula.
Wellness Complete Health Senior supports the overall health and vitality of senior dogs with an all-natural mixture of essential vitamins and minerals, proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Chondroitin and glucosamine are added to promote healthy joints and hips. The formula additionally contains a barley blend and deboned chicken. There is no soy corn, wheat, meat by-products or artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
Orijen Dog Food for Senior Dogs has a biologically appropriate recipe and is specially formulated for strong, healthy aging and easy metabolizing in senior dogs. The ratio of natural proteins is high and includes wild caught fish, turkey, chicken and whole eggs. The ingredients include vegetables, regional, health-rich fruits, sea vegetables, marigold flowers and juniper berries. The blend is all natural and created for senior dogs.