Understanding The Nutrition Needs Of An Older Dog

28 September 2016
 Categories: , Blog

When man's best friend transitions from an adult to a senior, their nutritional needs begin to change. Just like a puppy who needs more or less of somethings, an older dog has specific needs of their own. Caring for them and making sure they are healthy and in good shape may mean making some changes to their diet. Whether they get dry food from a well-known name brand or their owner makes it from scratch, there are a few things to be sure they get every day.

Calorie Intake

As dogs approach their senior years, their bodies are less capable of holding on to a certain weight. Obesity is a dangerous thing for older dogs. Pet owners should closely monitor their pet's food intake and watch the amount of calories being consumed each day. Since the dog's metabolism is slowing down, they will need less fuel throughout the day. Before cutting the quantity of food given each day a vet should be consulted for precise calorie needs.

High Fiber

When a dog ages, their body begins to change. They become more susceptible to things like gastrointestinal issues. Senior canines become constipated more easily, so feeding them foods with high fiber content goes a long way to keep their bodies healthy. Another great benefit to giving aging pets' meals which feature a large amount of fiber is how it fills them up. This way it keeps their calorie count down while still helping them maintain a healthy lifestyle. Adding canned pumpkin to wet food is an easy way to ensure dogs get more fiber daily.


The key to fighting off sickness and diseases is a strong immune system. When it's time to look for a new diet for an older dog, look for food which features a large amount of antioxidants and vitamin E. The aging body needs help to prevent illness from invading it and this is especially true when it comes to things like free radicals. These harmful items occur naturally in the body, and as the canine gets older, it has a harder time fighting them. Antioxidants found in things like green tea, raspberries, and milk thistle are all safe for dogs to consume.

Like humans, animals find they need different things as they age. Whether it means careful exercise, controlled calorie intake, or even increasing certain foods, older dogs have new requirements as they age. Always speak to a vet before making any drastic changes in a pet's lifestyle.

For more information, contact local professionals like Bayshore Animal Hospital & Bird Practice.