Senior dogs require higher fibre levels and a reduced oil & fat level/energy per 100g to help weight control as senior dogs can be prone to weight gain due to decreased activity levels.
Senior dog food should support healthy ageing and include supplements to support healthy joints such as Omega 3, Glucosamine, MSM and Chondroitin.
Senior dog food should be a balanced diet designed to help support the joints, have a higher fibre content in order to 'keep things moving' and reduced energy content in order to help prevent weight gain in those golden years.
Maintaining a healthy weight is important for senior dogs as their joint health depends on it. Excess weight can cause a whole host of issues for older dogs in their later years.
Senior dog food should contain animal protein such as fresh chicken, turkey, lamb, beef and fish to name a few. Healthy food for your senior dog should be grain free and not include fillers such as brown rice or wheat as these can upset the digestion.
From the age of around 7 years old, dogs are generally classified as senior, with the average life expectancy of a dog being 10-13 years old. Dependent on your senior dog - their activity levels, weight, general health and well-being will dictate when you should switch to senior dog food. If your dog suffers with their joints and activity levels, you may want to move earlier than a dog who is fit, healthy and active.
Portion Control – If your older dog is less active and burning fewer calories, then it’s easy to give them too much food for their energy requirements. Follow the feeding guidelines on your dry food packet for how much to give your senior dog and remember to weigh it out to avoid overfeeding. Feeding guidelines are, as the name suggests, just a guide, so keep an eye on your dog’s size and adjust the amount if you need to.
Give them peace and quiet – Your older dog may prefer to eat at their own pace in a quiet and calm area, so try to feed them somewhere that is less busy. If you have more than one dog, try to feed them separately so that your older dog is able to eat without being interrupted.
Make it comfortable for them to eat – Arthritis in senior dogs can make it more difficult for them to bend down to eat their dog food, so try putting their food in a slightly raised bowl at dinner time.
Access to fresh, clean water – an important part of any dog’s diet is access to clean water. Staying well hydrated can help to keep your senior dog healthy.