How should I feed a senior dog?

How should I feed a senior dog?

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Aging dogs are like old adults, who need more attention and care. There's no certain line that defines how old must a dog be considered as senior because it really depends on the dog's breed and size. Generally, dogs can be considered aging when they've passed half of their life expectancy. Small breeds are living longer than the big ones. They can live to 15-20 years while big breeds can only live 12-15 years. Compared to puppies and adult dogs, senior dogs have different nutritional needs. They are no longer on high physical activity levels anymore. Thus, they are easy to gain weight. Further, senior dogs may have more health problems at their autumns of life. Here we collect answers for some most common questions you may have when feeding a senior dog. Hope this will help you and your "old friend"!
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How to prevent obesity for senior dogs?

Obesity is one of the main problems senior dogs have to deal with. That's partly because many owners don't change their dogs' diets when the dogs are getting older. Regular dog kibbles are not suitable for senior dogs due to their decreasing energy requirement levels. Generally, Senior dogs need lower-calorie and higher-fiber diets to help them prevent obesity. Many brands already have different types of dog food to meet the various nutritional needs of dogs at different age stages. That saves much of your work, right? Besides the dog kibble, senior dogs also have special needs for their daily snacks. I don't recommend you to feed your dog with bones and milk biscuits too often. Instead, you should serve them with more low-fat and low-sodium food, such as fruit slices and vegetables. But avoid onions and grapes! These are harmful to a dog's stomach. Ah, don't forget about water! Senior dogs are easier to get thirsty than adult dogs because they can no longer maintain a well water balance of their body.

How to feed senior dogs with medical problems?

It's common for senior dogs to be diagnosed with health problems. But don't worry, even though most of them can still live a happy life for years. Feeding them with the right diets can efficiently help them live longer. Here are some useful tips you can follow when you are making appropriate diets for your dog.  

For dogs with kidney disease, you have to change their diets with low-protein, low-sodium, and low phosphorus food, because it’s crucial to maintain a low blood phosphorus level of your dog. Plus, omega-3 fatty is one of the most efficient supplements that can help to reduce symptoms of kidney disease.

For dogs with diabetic, your main task is to keep their glucose levels in a controllable range. You have to strictly follow the number of calories determined by the vet. DO NOT let your dog eat beyond that number! Also, make sure your dog drinks enough water every day. It’s helpful for preventing constipation and other diabetic complications.

What you can do when a senior dog loses appetite?

The causes of a reduced appetite vary. Some dogs don't want to eat because of nausea caused by gastrointestinal problems, while some lose their appetite due to cancer. Before you try any tips following, the first thing ALWAYS is to bring your dog to the vet. Make sure their lost appetite is not a symptom of any other potential health problems. If not, here are some useful tips you can try out. First, when dogs are reaching certain ages, they may not interested in dry food anymore. You can mix their dry kibble with some warm water or chicken broth. Otherwise, canned food is also a more appealing choice. Second, instead of dog kibbles, you can serve them with plain cooked meals, the extra warm smell can attract them to eat. Third, you can buy appetite stimulants from pet stores to enhance the flavor of the dog food. 

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