Aging dogs have different dietary needs as their body changes. It’s important to cater to a diet that benefits your dog’s specific needs.
Choosing a food for an older dog is really important and there are a lot of choices depending on the need of your dog. Some dogs tend to benefit from a diet consisting of less fat and fewer calories. They aren’t the puppies they used to be and their metabolism has gotten lazy just like your senior dog that loves naps. There has been some research showing the benefit of L-carnitine, which is similar to a vitamin but is made from amino acids. You can find this in foods such as red meats, fish, chicken, and dairy products.
On the other hand, aging dogs can have the opposite dietary needs when they start to lose weight. In this case, they will need to take in more calories. But their decreased appetite may be linked to a loss of taste or smell and difficulty chewing or swallowing. If your dog has these issues as they age, one way to change their diet is to increase fat content, which will make the food more appealing and your dog will take in more calories.
Protein is very important in an aging dog’s diet. It helps them make up for loss of muscle mass and other issues that can occur with less stored protein. It helps the immune system and the body’s ability to handle stress or physical trauma. Senior diets at a minimum should include 25 percent of calories from protein.
In terms of how much fiber your dog needs, much like controlling weight gain or loss, your dog may either need more or less fiber depending on their needs. Sometimes fiber can cause issues with the way your body takes in nutrients, because of cellulose-based fibers. But fiber can also alleviate constipation, which may already be an issue with your senior dog. In order to offset the issues some forms of fiber cause, beet pulp is suggested as a more moderate choice that can regulate glucose and contains no sugar.
As your dog ages its important to cater their diet to help them adjust to this new stage of life. If you want to learn more, read the full article https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/how-to-feed-the-senior-dog/