As dogs get older and their bodies and activity levels change, their nutritional requirements may need to be adapted to support them through these changes as well. It is important to provide your pet with a high-quality diet appropriate for senior dogs to ensure that they are receiving the nutrients they need to sustain life and thrive. But how do you know when, and if, to switch your dog to a senior diet? Keep reading!
Why choose a senior-specific recipe?
A dog's risk for conditions like obesity, arthritis, and cognitive and appetite loss is increased with age. It is important to provide a senior diet appropriate for seniors that are rich in ingredients that can help support a healthy aging pet. Some key principles of senior diets include:
1. Lower caloric density
Since senior dogs often expend less energy, their dietary energy requirement is lower. Diets with a lower calorie density may be a great option in order to support weight management. Obesity is often associated with increased risk for other diseases, such as diabetes, so weight management is key!
2. Increase hydration
Water is crucial for dogs at every life stage; however, senior dogs are especially may be prone to dehydration. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that your senior pet is getting enough clean, fresh water. If you find providing your dog with enough water challenging, try providing wet food, as its moisture content will be much higher. This is also an excellent option for senior dogs with poor dental health/sensitive teeth. Keep in mind that wet foods are also significantly higher in caloric density.
3. High-quality protein sources
High quality protein is important for all life stages. Senior pets can experience digestive upset due to reducing diversity in the microflora of the gut, so providing high-quality protein in appropriate amounts can help support both muscle maintenance and a healthy digestive system.
4. Managed sodium and phosphorus
Controlled minerals, such as sodium and phosphorous are important to consider for aging kidneys.
Our Go! Solutions Carnivore Grain-Free Chicken, Turkey + Duck Senior recipe is a PAW-some option for senior dogs as it is created using premium-quality chicken, turkey + duck, ensuring older dogs get the complete and balanced nutrition they need to support strong, lean muscles and healthy digestion in old age. It also contains glucosamine, chondroitin, and green-lipped muscles to support hip and joint health, along with taurine to support vision and heart health.
A Complete And Balanced Recipe For Older Dogs
Our Go! Solutions Carnivore recipe for Senior Dogs is created using premium-quality Chicken, Turkey and Duck, ensuring older dogs get the complete and balanced nutrition they need to support strong, lean muscles and healthy digestion in old age.
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When to switch to a senior recipe?
Now you know the potential benefits of a formula, especially for those senior pups, it's important to consider how, and if, to make the switch from an adult recipe to a senior recipe. Many dogs are considered seniors around the age of 7, however, this can differ depending on breed, size, and individuality. Switching to a senior recipe can be a great option for pets entering their golden years, particularly if they are looking for added joint health or to shed a few pounds.
When you decide to make the switch, ensure that you are doing it gradually, to avoid any digestive upset. Check out our blog on how to transition your dog to a new food. It is also important to remember that adult maintenance recipes which do not explicitly state "senior" are still appropriate for senior pets.
How much food should I feed my senior dog?
The amount of food that your furry friend needs will vary depending on their activity level, breed, age, and climate. You should start by following the feeding guidelines on the bag of the food bag and adjust the amount accordingly to achieve their ideal weight.
Now that you know why a senior recipe is important, how to choose a senior diet when to make the switch, and how much to feed, you are better prepared to take the next step in providing your furry friend the nutrients they need to gain the associated benefits that will help them thrive in this new chapter of their life.