Diet for Senior Dogs: Tips on Feeding Your Senior

In the last third of his life, your dog’s metabolism works much more slowly. In addition, most dogs automatically become calmer and thus use less energy. The senior now needs a high-quality and easily digestible feed. As with all other age groups, their diet should be individually adapted to their current physical activity.

When is a dog considered a senior?

The age phase of a dog starts at different times depending on its size. The changes that occur then gradually increase the dog’s susceptibility to disease and sensitivity to stress. The performance decreases steadily and the sensory organs become weaker. Chronic diseases become more common with age.

Despite all the differences: From the age of about 7 years, all dogs are considered “senior”. From then on, an annual check-up at the veterinarian should also be carried out.

Old dog: tailor-made nutrition

Simply changing the amount of adult food is not a good idea. The composition of protein, energy, minerals, and vitamins should be optimized according to age. This relieves the digestive system and supports the weakening immune system. Special senior dog food that offers a high-quality and easily digestible composition is ideal.

In dogs, changes in metabolism become noticeable from around the age of eight. In order to meet these changing needs, it is important to switch to high-quality senior food.

Seniors at the bowl: tips for feeding old dogs

Dog teeth also deteriorate with age and salivation decreases. You should always keep these tips in mind in order to give your dog a balanced diet, even in old age:

tip 1

Often the old dog’s teeth are no longer the best, which is why he cannot chew large chunks of food so well. Do your dog a favor and break up large chunks in advance.

tip 2

To be on the safe side, stop giving your senior dog bones. Because bones make extremely hard stool and especially in older dogs, the intestines become sluggish. Bone feeding can lead to severe constipation, but also to life-threatening intestinal blockages and intestinal injuries.

tip 3

Older dogs often don’t tolerate large portions as well. Relieve digestion and organism by serving smaller portions up to four times a day.

tip 4

Many old dogs drink too little. If your four-legged friend is also one of them, you should give him wet food instead of dry food or soak the latter in plenty of water before feeding. If you mix wet and dry food with water, your dog not only absorbs it more easily but also gets additional liquid.

tip 5

Rich wet food at room temperature or slightly warmed. This not only makes it more digestible, but it also makes it more attractive due to the more intense scent. This is helpful if your senior dog’s olfactory performance is declining or if they are picky eaters.

Cooking nutrition for old dogs yourself

If older dogs eat very little and show little interest in their food, it can be helpful – in addition to the tips above – to prepare the food yourself. Although this involves some effort, it can be very worthwhile. Discuss this with your vet, who will also be happy to create a feeding schedule for you.

Dietary supplement for old dogs

There are many supplements for dog seniors. If your pet is fed a balanced senior diet and is eating well, they are usually not necessary. But does he already have illnesses such as joint problems, a supportive administration of feed additives can be positive.
Your old dog is losing weight despite good food? Please go to the vet first to rule out a serious organic problem! If the only reason is an age-related drop in feed conversion, the feed should be adjusted.

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