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senior dog food vs regular
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senior dog food vs regular

There are many factors that can determine when your pet needs to be cared for as a senior, but the most common standard is about 7. Take a look at their diet and make sure that they are getting healthy natural sources of all of their, Dogs that are showing more advanced signs of mobility issues may need to have their environment altered to accommodate their limitations. Still, a loss of appetite could be a symptom of another age-related issue, like pain. Limited mobility or activity can lead to muscle depletion, which can compound into more health issues. and higher levels of this omega fatty acid are required for senior pets. A final note on kibble is its moisture content. Talk to your vet about your senior pooch. Purina brands with senior nutrition include: Purina ONE; Purina Pro Plan; 2. So, senior dog foods are specially formulated to support them in their older age. Why should you buy a good senior dog food? Different breeds have different nutritional requirements, and a lot of that has to do with size. While it’s not exactly an all-encompassing term, it does make the point that we should be cautious of feeding our pets more calories than they are capable of using. Here's a quick breakdown of what we'll cover: Pets age differently depending on breed, size, genetics, and environment. This both preserves essential nutrients and enzymes, as well as makes the kibble easier to chew and digest. He may still have a lot of energy and years left, but he isn't the young pup that he was. If muscle mass is the problem, a high-protein diet is critical; if your dog is getting thinner for some other reason, your vet may recommend a diet … Diet can help significantly, so make sure your dog is eating a highly digestible diet with appropriate sources of animal protein to counteract muscle loss. Dehydrated foods are often lumped together with freeze-dried and raw diets, but there is a variety of formats under the dehydrated umbrella. While training a puppy may seem like a challenge, maintaining your senior dog’s training should be much simpler. Softens plaque and tartar and reduces oral bacteria. These foods can be much lower in carbohydrates than a kibble diet, so they have more natural ingredients that are easier to digest, which is ideal for seniors. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the words "senior" on pet food is nothing more than a marketing term. Wet foods are generally more digestible than kibble, depending on the ingredients of course, and many options have very little carbohydrates or fillers. Your veterinarian is your best source for determining what type of special food is best for your senior dog. Prevention is important, and many conditions can be managed through diet and medication if caught early enough. We often turn to low protein diets as the answer to weight issues and calorie restrictions, but that isn’t the most effective way to maintain an old dog’s weight. Look at your dog’s eating habits for signs that they might need a change. As our pet’s age, vets will monitor organ function more closely than in younger years, and early signs can be seen through blood work, and other routine tests. In reality, it is the quality of the protein, not the quantity that should be monitored. A thorough assessment of their physical state can help your vet make recommendations for diet and exercise routines. protein restrictions to maintain kidney health. Staying active is one of the best ways to prevent health issues related to age. Berries, broccoli, tomatoes and many dark leafy greens have a higher abundance. When determining the best mealtime routine for your pet we often make decisions around our own schedules, but those aren’t always the best choices for our pets. Both are omega 3 fatty acids and are sourced most abundantly from fish oils. To ensure that their later years are as comfortable, healthy, and happy as possible, we need to make healthier decisions when choosing a dog food for our senior dogs. Some ingredients in adult dog food and food do not fall under the AAFCO rules and regulations. Large breeds often have a slower metabolism than small breeds, so they most likely won’t require as many calories by weight. While prep work is still involved, it’s easier to portion out and doesn’t require valuable freezer space to store. The signs may not be obvious, in fact, they are often quite subtle and easy to miss until they are well advanced. One example of this is Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Regular grooming and even daily petting can help to identify lumps, dry skin, hair loss and changes to your dog's fur texture. On this page… we’ll share The Dog Food Advisor’s top 10 best senior dog foods… and we’ll answer the 8 most frequently asked questions about feeding older dogs.. Many common illnesses that affect senior dogs can relate to digestion, kidneys, liver, heart, and cancer. Giant breeds, typically dogs over 100 lbs, live shorter lives. Try not to push them too hard, but always encourage appropriate daily exercise to maintain muscle. The formulations can be either for growth (puppy) or maintenance (adult). In this article, What Does My Dog Need, we clarified different classifications of activity level in dogs: While these categories still stand true for senior pets, the types of physical activity and playtime may change. With this in mind, let us study senior dog food vs regular and the best dog food for senior dogs small and large breeds. Of course, animal protein does provide higher levels of protein and fat, which contribute to the foods calorie density. Maintaining your dog's routine while being sensitive to their limitations is important. Raw diets are considered all life stages, but are typically more balanced than a heavily processed diet, making them more suitable for a variety of life stages. As your dog gets older, it’ll start to slow down, and it might put on a little weight. 1. While they are one of the organs that can fail in their senior years, this can be attributed to several things, like pollutants, poor diet and digestion, dehydration, and genetics. The addition of these ingredients helps to improve digestibility, reduce inflammation, and support joint function. We do not recommend trying all of these supplements at once. Kibble is the best diet choice for that style of feeding as you don’t need to worry about it going bad and making either the dog or anyone else ill. Be cautious of the ingredients though. According to the standard in the guidelines, the ideal foods should consist of 5% crude fat and 18% crude protein. *Feeding guidelines taken from FirstMate  all life stages dry dog food. Does that mean you can continue feeding it? Supplements can be rotated, used seasonally, or just as needed. Try not to overexert them. People who are new to taking care of dogs may be confused as to why dog foods are segregated into foods for adult dogs, senior dogs, and puppies. Wet dog food tends to be more enticing and aromatic, appealing to dogs who are picky eaters or who become selective later in life. Weight and activity level should be monitored to help you identify the need for a change in diet, feeding guidelines, or routine. According to the Whole Dog Journal, over-the-counter geriatric foods for dogs usually have lower levels of protein and fat than the "regular" maintenance versions. The protein and fat content is much lower as well, since many people perceive senior dogs as being much less active and usually have problems with their dogs gaining weight. Routine checkups are especially important for senior dogs, including blood work and urinalysis. It's best if you take your senior dog for regular examinations in order to choose the most appropriate pet food as your dog continues to age. Keep your dog active both mentally and physically! Talk to your vet to determine whether or not a vet visit is warranted. Grain-free dog foods usually cost more and are not always available at your neighborhood grocery store. Is there more to a senior dog food that the name on the packaging? High carbs do not help your senior dog but many dog food companies add them, including some that are not much more than fillers. To combat this, always feed diets that have natural sources of vitamins and minerals, like fresh produce, instead of foods that rely on synthetic additives to meet minimum requirements. This doesn’t mean they can’t eat the same food, but it does mean that quantity, format, and frequency of meals may have to be altered to suit their needs. It seems many brands of kibble are steering towards this fad, but is an all life stage food really suitable for all life stages? It’s up to us to make sure that we are encouraging appropriate exercise. Gear physical activities to your pet’s needs. Commercial pet foods are incredibly generalized and may not accommodate all of your dog’s needs. This is especially true for eating. Is there such a thing as senior dog food brand? It’ll help restore your pet’s energy levels, which is important for keeping active. The fact is that time leads to a decrease in organ function, and many organs play vital roles in the digestive system. While every dog is different and can present unique symptoms to varying degrees, there are some common age-related symptoms that you should keep in mind. Cancel. Large breed puppy foods are different from “regular” puppy foods in that they are lower in fat and calories, contain slightly lower levels of calcium and phosphorus, and have a carefully balanced calcium-to-phosphorus ratio. One meal is fine, but if your dog is going more than a day without eating, it could be a symptom of something else. Our recommendations for the best dry senior dog foods … Integrative or holistic vets are often well versed in canine nutrition and might be able to supply some helpful resources for crafting your pet’s gourmet meals. When we say “regular dog food,” we simply mean dog food that contains grans. Even in an extruded kibble, using fruits and vegetables to provide essential nutrients will allow your dog’s body to use those nutrients better to stay healthier for longer. Antioxidants are found in many fruits and vegetables. As dog’s age, their natural gut flora changes. Short snouted and brachiaphylic breeds may require short-sided bowls to be able to eat properly. Regardless of the type of food that you are feeding your dog, they still need to be fed an appropriate amount to ensure that they are receiving the correct amounts of all of their essential nutrients. That being said, there are dogs who may not thrive on raw due to certain illnesses, organ function issues, and preference. So they can better than grain-free dog foods for older dogs and dogs that are less active. This could be related to diet and can often be managed with the appropriate balance between amino acids, vitamins, minerals and omega fatty acids. It is important to note that because of their longevity, small breeds do often suffer ageing symptoms for longer periods of time, so considering them a senior at nine is more accurate. Feeding guidelines for raw may vary depending on the formula, but the standard guidelines are based on a percentage of your pet’s weight based on their life stage and activity level. Interestingly enough, only half of those respondents say they actually feed their dog a senior-specific dog food. In cases of extreme sedentary lifestyles or weight issues, you may need to feed your dog as much as 50% less than the feeding guidelines for your food. For many senior pet owners feeding a homemade diet, the customization of the diet is the biggest benefit. dental routine must be implemented. Adjust your dog’s routine to find out what works best for them. Some are lower in fat or calories, and some are higher in fiber. Dog breeds that grow to be bigger need pet food that supports strong, healthy bones. Some nutrients may be required in higher quantities, though. It is possible to find food that has everything that your old boy needs, but depending on their condition, you may need to supplement their diet to improve different aspects of their health. Pro Plan Bright Minds Chk Sm Brd 7+ Senior Dog Food 2.5kg. Some start to get more active, while others feel drained by the heat. For dog owners, the reality that our pets live such short lives means that we do everything we can to make our time together count. As our pet’s age, deterioration of cognitive function can lead to a compromise of many systems in the body. We rarely consider mental health when we think of our pet’s ageing, but the brain is an organ too, and it can be ravaged by time just the same as any other organ. Commercial senior pet foods range widely in phosphorus content so if lower phosphorus is desired for an individual, it is important to work with your veterinarian to determine the best diet for your pet. If you have a senior pet, you might be wondering what you can do to preserve your old dog’s quality of life. These guidelines are often a great starting point, but if you recognize that your pet does not fit the 'average’ dog mould, then you might want to adjust those little by little. Regular grooming and even daily petting can help to identify lumps, dry skin, hair loss and changes to your dog's fur texture. A big pro of regular dog food is the cost and availability. This can be attributed to both temperature and texture. Answer: Actually, senior dogs need special nutrients than adult dogs and they need a good, well-balanced diet that is rich with low calories, high fiber, and a sufficient amount of protein and fat. A healthy, natural diet will provide all of the nutrients that your dog’s body needs to provide energy to all of its systems, including the brain. Proper eating routines are extremely important, so if your pet is consistently skipping meals or is having trouble eating, a vet visit is warranted. ©2016 Homes Alive Pet Centre. Diets made from natural and highly digestible ingredients are best for any dog but are especially important for senior dogs. Dehydration can lead to a number of problems, but most commonly, digestion and urinary health can suffer the quickest and most noticeably. Dogs with heart disease may need lower-calorie senior dog foods to help keep weight down as well as lower-sodium formulations. Canned foods are a good choice for senior pets. While many are, brands like The Honest Kitchen, gently blanch their ingredients before dehydration. Fresh is always the best, so adding fresh produce to your pet’s diet plan, either with meals or as treats, can make a difference in your dog’s health. Regular dog foods also contain more complex carbohydrates that help give dogs energy. To properly free feed, you need to allow your dog to eat as much as they would like until they stop eating or walk away (within reason, of course). Antioxidants are found in many fruits and vegetables. This page contains affiliate links. Physical health, such as muscle development, cognitive function, and organ function, should all be considered when choosing a diet for your senior pet. As dog’s age, their natural gut flora changes and they often have trouble repopulating healthy bacteria and digestive enzymes. While this is not common, it is a testament to the vagueness of feeding guidelines. If your dog is a gulper, has trouble chewing or swallowing, or is limited in mobility, their bowl might need to reflect that. Indoor dogs, which are commonly small and toy breeds, may live much more sedentary lifestyles. Pain, anxiety, and discomfort from digestion issues can deter your dog from eating with the typical gusto that they used to. Work with tricks that they already know, and slowly expand. What are considered grains in dog food, though? This may require you to move furniture to widen pathways. For senior pets, you should start by feeding about 2% of their body weight, and adjust to suit their needs and activity. Scheduled feeding times should be consistent to allow your dog’s body to properly utilize their calories. However, over-the-counter senior diets may have additional dietary supplements and nutraceuticals (a product offered to prevent or treat a disease that is marketed as a dietary supplement), such as Omega-3 fatty acids and glucosamine, which may help older dogs' … The same systems need to be looked after, and change is constant, albeit in the opposite direction. The Association for American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has established guidelines for dog foods. Dog food with grains is still a popular choice among many owners. Moving playtime to more open areas, or considering different vocal methods to get your dog’s attention can help keep them safe. Feeding guidelines are especially important when feeding a raw diet because they are very calorie dense and it can be easy to put unnecessary weight on your pet. Min. These diets will be more calorie-dense and maintaining physical activity and portion control are both very important. They can help you calculate how many calories your dog needs, and determine how much food you should feed per meal. The dog foods – Puppies vs adults vs senior dogs. This behaviour is often viewed as a mental health deterioration, which can also happen in old age, but look to support the physical symptoms first. Homemade diets are often turned to for dogs that are already dealing with health issues, but any dog of any age can thrive on a properly formulated homemade diet. Different dog breeds age differently. A diet plan that is suitable for a Mastiff will likely not be the right food for a Pomeranian. When considering the difference between grain free dog food vs regular dog food, it’s important to always put your dog’s needs first. Wet vs. dry. Because there is no specific nutrient profile established for senior dog diets, “senior foods” are variations of adult maintenance diets. Different formats of food may suit dog's nutritional needs as they age. Senior dog food is different from adult because it has more vitamins and … For an average large breed, like a Labrador Retriever, senior symptoms don’t tend to present too heavily until close to 7, but the larger the dog, the earlier they will reach that stage of life. Senior dog food vs. regular dog food Senior dogs require fewer calories than their younger, more active counterparts. There are no guidelines as to how much fatty acids need to be contained in dog food. The taxing process of kibble extrusion can also degrade nutrients, making them near unrecognizable by your dog’s body. Sodium levels vary widely in senior diets. Check out some great supplements that can aid your pet during their senior years. Managing a consistent routine, and implementing gradual change will help prevent extreme behaviour, and can help your pet feel safer. For senior dogs, dehydrated foods are a great choice to encourage a picky dog to eat more. The challenge falls in the formulations. Not every dog will fit these categories. The most notable is that not all dehydrated foods are raw. For dogs with more specific needs, these diets may not be 100% complete and balanced for them. Even in an extruded kibble, using fruits and vegetables to provide essential nutrients will allow your dog’s body to use those nutrients better to stay healthier for longer. If you notice your dog dropping pounds, talk to your vet about underlying medical conditions that could affect his appetite, calorie needs, and/or digestion. Check out some of the unique food bowls to help your pet eat better. Weight loss issues should also be taken seriously. Best for gulpers and food obsessed dogs, but can also be helpful for dogs that are bored with mealtime. Obvious mobility issues, like stiff joints after a walk, difficulty getting up and down stairs, or an increase in lazy behaviours, need to be taken seriously. For many dogs, traditional dog food is enough, but if you feel your dog needs grain free food, it’s good to know there are many choices available. You may need to find a way to help your pet regulate heat better if these changes were triggered by extremely warm weather. Senior dog food is a type of pet feed formulated for the diet of older dogs. The bigger the dog, the shorter is its lifespan. In this example, there are only three ingredients in the senior formula that aren’t in the adult version: pea fibre, flaxseed, and glucosamine hydrochloride. This food type is preferred by pet owners who do not wish to handle raw food. Kidneys are an incredibly resilient organ. Not every pet falls under the blanket of each size, breed, or age group, so talk to your vet about what your dog’s unique nutritional requirements are. Best Dog Foods For Senior Dogs. It is always recommended that you discuss homemade diets with your vet to ensure that you aren’t missing anything that could lead to a deficiency. Most bowls are a pretty standard shape and size, but some variations may actually improve your pets eating habits. The earlier you detect changes, the earlier you can respond and support your dog through this stage of life. Freeze-dried foods are a little more versatile too. The same systems need to be looked after, and change is constant, albeit in the opposite direction. If you have a senior pet that is still quite spry, that’s great. Finding ways to treat when your dog is on a restricted diet can be tough, but incorporating training time cannot only provide mental stimulation but help make sure that your pet is working off those extra calories. This can lead to deficiencies that can affect organ function and energy levels over time. We sometimes refer to some dogs as 'grazers' and while it may seem like an ideal solution to their unusual eating preferences, it can also be related to weight issues, both under and over. Think baby steps. Maybe. Sodium – 0.3% for puppy food and 0.06% for adult dog food. All life stage food may look less desirable than a diet that better suits your dog’s unique senior needs. Like humans, many of your dog’s senses can be affected by age. Using the shell game, hide-and-seek, and incorporating training can encourage your dog to eat their meals at a more appropriate speed. Adult Dog Food Vs Senior Dog Food: What’s The Difference? Kibble can be very carb-heavy, which can be fine for an active dog, but a slower senior may need fewer simple carbs in their diet to maintain a healthy weight and digestion. It holds many of the same benefits of a frozen or fresh raw food, as long as it is being fed re-hydrated. If you've been feeding your dog an adult dog food, you may be thinking about switching to the senior formulation of the same dog food, or one that says it's for senior dogs. We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post through our independently chosen links, which earn us a commission. The answer is yes.

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