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Senior Dogs

Senior Dogs

As your dog ages, his body goes through changes–the metabolism and enthusiasm he exhibited as a puppy decreases and physiological altercations abound. You must know how to deal with these changes or your dog will not have the long and healthy life that you want for him. What was needed as a puppy will not be needed as a senior dog. Like with humans, dogs require different things as adults than as pups; you treat yourself differently and the same goes with your dog.

Senior dogs need good nutrition to remain healthy and active. With a balanced diet that is lower in calories and fat and higher in fiber, your older dog will stay strong. Switch from the foods you used as a puppy (which were created to give a higher amount of calories and protein) to brands that are distinctly suited for your senior dog.

There is more to an senior dogs nutritional needs than simply the food, however. Older dogs require specific care from you:

  • Many dogs have a tendency to become overweight as they age; this is due to the lack of activity. It is up to you to keep your dog’s weight at a safe level. By lowering his fat intake, you will greatly decrease his chances for weight gain. However, you must also keep your dog active and alert. This will greatly increase his lifespan as it stimulates tissue in his body and removes toxins.
  • A number of older dogs experience weight loss. All of the food precautions in the world will mean nothing if you cannot get your dog to eat. As dogs age, they may have a disinterest in food–this can be caused by a number of things, the most common being that their food is now too hard for them to chew. When selecting foods, it is wise for you to try softer selections (adding gravy to the usual food, canned food or even cat food can sometimes be more appealing. Be careful with cat food, however, because it is high in protein and not good in large doses for your pet). Your senior dog must eat and it is up to you to discover what he wants.
  • Even if your dog is eating, he still may not be receiving all of the vitamins he needs. If you find that your food selections are lacking certain vitamins, then you may want to consider supplements. There are many different mineral and vitamin medications available on the market today; by supplying your dog with these, you can give him a well-balanced lifestyle. Before choosing anything, however, consult with your veterinarian to see what your dog is missing from his diet. Then, you can make your choice.

With the proper food selected and his weight under control, your senior dog is on his way to a long and healthy life. And, with that long life, he can continue to spend his years as your companion and best friend.

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