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Senior Dog Advice | Diet | Vets4Pets
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Dog advice: feeding your older dog

Senior dogs need different things from their diet than young pups!

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Food for your older dog

When your dog starts to enter their advanced years, they do a lot less rushing around than they used to, and their growing days tend to be over. For these reasons, an older dog has very different dietary requirements to those of a young puppy or even a middle-aged dog. If you choose a food designed for senior dogs, you will help them to live a healthier life even as they age.

How old is a senior dog?

There’s no single answer to this question, though if your pet is over seven years old, you can be fairly sure they’re in the older category. For a more precise answer, you need to take their size and breed into account. If you would like a more detailed idea of your dog’s relative age range, just ask your Vets4Pets team.

Why change its food?

Older dogs tend to be less active and prone to weight gain so tend to need a diet which is lower in fat and calories. These diets also have higher-quality protein sources than standard foods and controlled levels of sodium and phosphorus. This helps to maintain muscle mass and supports healthy vital organ function without putting too much strain on the kidneys. Senior diets also tend to be easily digestible and help maintain a healthy gastrointestinal system and support immune system function. They often contain glucosamine, chondroitin sulphate and omega-3 fatty acids for healthy bones and joints and anti-oxidants to support the brain as it ages. However, if your dog has a specific health issue your dog may need a disease-specific prescription diet. At Vets4Pets we are happy to discuss this further with you.

Take it steady

Don’t change your dog’s diet overnight. It’s much better to change their food gradually, mixing the new senior formula with their old food and slowly building up the proportion of new food. Always speak to Vets4Pets for advice on finding the right diet for your senior dog. There are lots of different diets out there and no size fits all!