How Do Senior Dogs Differ
Nutritional guidelines for humans are generally separated into age groups but adult dogs are considered a single category. Though your dogs basic nutritional requirements dont change as they get older, they may benefit from some dietary adjustments.
Here are some considerations for a senior dog diet:
- Older dogs tend to be less active. That may necessitate a reduction in daily calorie intake to prevent unhealthy weight gain.
- Protein is just as important for older dogsyou may even need to increase your senior dogs protein intake to help them maintain lean muscle mass.
- Senior dogs have a higher risk for kidney disease, which may require a diet lower in phosphorus.
- If your senior dog develops high blood pressure, heart disease, or kidney disease, your veterinarian may recommend a low-sodium diet.
- Older dogs may be more prone to dehydration. Switching to a premium-quality canned food or fresh food can help with hydration and may be easier for your older dog to chew and digest.
Many veterinarians consider a dog a senior once he reaches 7 years old, but it really depends on the breed. Larger dog breeds dont live as long as smaller breeds, so a Great Dane may become a senior at 5 or 6 years while a Dachshund reaches seniority closer to 10 years.
These are things to keep in mind when deciding if or when to change your dogs diet, in addition to the advice of your veterinarian.
Best Large Breed Dog Food
Once your big pooch has finished growing, its time to start transitioning him to an adult formula. Adult large breed dogs still need a little more protein and less fat than small and medium-sized doggos, but they dont need as many calories as a puppy.
An adult formula will offer many of the same benefits as the large breed puppy foods will, but with subtle differences to the formula. While adults and puppies all need the same nutrients, they require them in different quantities.
Senior Large Breed Dry Dog Food
Eukanuba Senior Large Breed dry dog food is complete and balanced nutrition for senior dogs over 7 years old weighing over 55 lbs. As a result of increased demand, you may experience difficulty purchasing certain products in the coming months. If you need an alternative diet recommendation or help locating a product, please contact our Nutritional Advisors at 800-592-6687 or via our Live Chat function.
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Best Senior Dog Food: Reviewed For You
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As dogs age, their dietary needs change. Senior dogs are less active than their younger counterparts and may face more health issues such as sensitive stomachs, joint problems, or constipation. Their specific needs often call for a change in what food you are feeding them.
Senior dog foods are specially formulated to meet the needs of aging dogs, usually around 8 years or older. If youve started looking for new food for your older pup, you may have noticed that there are many options on the market. Whether youre looking for the best vet recommended senior dog foods, budget-friendly options, or a splurge-worthy option for your beloved companion, youve come to the right place.
Read on to discover our top recommendations for the best senior dog foods on the market. Youll feel good knowing your dog has their nutritional needs fulfilled while also enjoying their tasty new food!
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How Do I Determine My Dogs Ideal Weight
Keeping your senior at ideal weight can help you significantly extend your pets life.
A 14-year landmark study found that
Dogs fed to ideal body condition lived 1.8 years longer than their overweight litter mates.
Thats nearly 2 extra years of life
Just for keeping your dog close to her ideal weight based on her Body Condition Score. This process is explained in the following short video.
Remember, every dog is different. If youre feeding the recommended amount, but your dog is not losing weight , you may need to make some adjustments.
Talk to your vet if youre unsure of your dogs ideal weight and body condition.
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General Requirements For A High
Only uses named meats. A high-quality food names the meats that go into it. Youll see an ingredient list including chicken, beef, lamb meal, and duck fat. A low-quality food contains meat, animal by-products and poultry.
The difference between the two is that the latter could contain any number of different animals and body parts of varying quality. This is particularly crucial when shopping for a dog with allergies.
Free of any artificial flavors, dyes, or preservatives. These ingredients can have health implications that should be difficult to ignore.
Minimally processed. The more that any ingredient is processed, the more it loses its natural nutritional value. Consequently, a highly-processed dog food includes more additives that attempt to compensate for the loss of natural nourishment.
Filler-free. Common dog food fillers include corn, soy, and wheat. These ingredients offer minimal nutritional value and can cause digestive issues.
Should I Give My Senior Dog Supplements
Aging dogs have special nutritional needs and so some will benefit from supplements. For instance, a large percentage of older dogs suffer from arthritis and can benefit from vitamins and supplements, like chondriotin and glucosamine for their joints, such as Yumove for dogs, if combined with weight control and the proper exercise plan.
- Aids stiffness – ActivEase® Green Lipped Mussel contains 4x more Omega 3 than standard, and is proven to soothe stiff joints.
- Supports joint structure – Glucosamine, Chondroitin and Manganese support cartilage health, essential for mobile joints.
- Promotes mobility – YuMOVE is the only joint supplement with Hyaluronic Acid proven to reach the joint within 2 hours, helping to cushion joints more comfortable. Antioxidants Vitamin C & E help to reduce free radicals
A vitamin or mineral supplement is recommended if your older dog is not receiving adequate amounts through his food, which can occur if your dog is not eating a complete balanced diet. A supplement may also benefit some older animals that tend to absorb fewer vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes through the intestinal tract, and lose more of them through the kidneys and urinary tract. Finally, some older animals eat less and may not receive their daily needs of vitamins and minerals.
A fiber product such as wheat bran may also be given to help reduce the incidence of constipation if it occurs. Talk with your veterinarian to determine which supplements may be beneficial for your dog.
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Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Senior Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
Richter recommends avoiding dog food with a lot of filler ingredients like meat meal, corn and wheat. Luckily, this Blue Buffalo variety offers real meat, whole grains, garden veggies and fruits. Its antioxidant-rich formula features deboned chicken and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids from flaxseedbut no corn, wheat, soy or other poultry byproduct.
Nutro Natural Choice Healthy Weight Lamb & Brown Rice Recipe
First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Lamb, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Barley, Rice Bran, Whole Grain Brown Rice
A close second on this list is Nutro Natural Choice Healthy Weight Lamb and Brown Rice dry dog food.
Made with incredible natural ingredients led by deboned lamb and chicken meal as main protein sources, this best dog food for firm stools presents a high-fiber load of 11%, the highest on our top 10 list. It also has 24% minimum crude protein, and the lowest fat content on the list with a max of only 10%.
Pet owners also love the many healthful natural ingredients including prebiotics like whole-grain barley, split peas, and beet pulp.
Moreover, this recipe includes dried pumpkin, a high-fiber fruit thats known to boost gut health and firm up stool.
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Preparation Of Our Homemade Diet
All of the information above might seem intimidating, but I assure you that making the actual meals for our dogs takes no more than 20 minutes of actual hands-on time.
First, we cook our complex carbs, whether theyre grains, legumes, or starchy vegetables.
While that pot is simmering on the stove, we cook the meat in a separate pan in coconut oil and ground turmeric. After its cooled a bit, we add chunks of meat to our food processor and pulse until theyre broken down into 1/2- to 1-inch pieces.
Then, we gather whatever vegetables or fruits we have in the kitchen , chop them up as needed, and toss them into the food processor.
We also add a few clean, crushed eggshells to the mix. A few pulses turns all this food into smaller pieces, making them more digestible for our dogs.
Finally, we add the cooled, cooked carbs to the food processor and do a couple more pulses to combine. Everything should have a finely crumbled texture by this point.
Since dogs have short digestive tracts, its crucial that you break down the food to increase its bioavailability that is, making all the nutrients in those wholesome ingredients more digestible in a dogs system.
I prepare enough food to last my two pugs an entire week. Its unbelievably easy, and I like knowing exactly what goes into their food. Friends will watch us feed our pugs and remark that it looks good enough for them to eat!
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Puppy Dry Dog Food Chicken And Brown Rice 15
- REAL MEAT FIRST: Blue Buffalo foods always feature real meat as the first ingredient High-quality protein from real chicken helps your dog build and maintain healthy muscles Plus they contain wholesome whole grains, garden veggies and fruit
- FOR PUPPY DOGS: Specially formulated for puppies, BLUE Life Protection Formula Puppy Food contains DHA and ARA to support cognitive function and retinal health
- ANTIOXIDANT-RICH LIFESOURCE BITS: A precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals carefully selected by holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists to support immune system health, life stage needs and a healthy oxidative balance
- A NATURAL DOG FOOD: BLUE dry dog foods are made with the finest natural ingredients enhanced with vitamins and minerals BLUE contains NO chicken by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors or preservatives
- Contains one 15 lb. Bag of BLUE Life Protection Formula Puppy Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Brown Rice
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Compare Big With Small Breed Pup Food
Formulas specifically designed for large breed puppies include less:
- Calcium. Inappropriate amounts can impact the development of the skeleton negatively.
- Calories and fats. By reducing the calorie and fat intake, you decrease the chances of overfeeding your puppy.
- Vitamin D. By decreasing the amount of vitamin D in a pups food, you ensure that the pet will not struggle with unwanted growth and imbalance issues.
- Phosphorus. Like calcium, too much of this mineral may result in skeletal defects.
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Large Breed Nutritional Needs For Puppies Adults And Seniors
Making food for your large breed pooch is great but then comes the difficult part, which is selecting the right ingredientsand in the right proportions. You may miss an ingredient or two vital to her overall health, and this could be costly in the long run.
Commercial dog food, on the other hand, seems to be a better option, because they take into consideration thespecific nutritional needs of your dog and are made by dog nutrition experts. But then theres the challenge of having so many options to choose from. But that shouldnt worry you, because Ill be showing you what to look out for so its easy to pick the most ideal food for your canine friend.
Meanwhile, the difference between food for a smaller dog and that of large breeds is fairly small. But the impact of that difference will prove massive in the long run towards helping your big buddy live well and longer, right from puppyhood all the way to her senior years.
Generally pups, adults, and senior large breeds are prone to orthopedic diseases, obesity, and bloat in varying proportions. Nutrition plays an important role in fending off, managing, and disease prevention.
To start you off on what to feed her based on her age, heres a look at whats required at each stage.
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Best Large Breed Dog Foodsaugust 2022
Here are The Dog Food Advisors 15 top-rated large breed dry dog foods for August 2022.
- First 5 ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, lentils, peas
- AAFCO: Maintenance
- Options:See all available recipes
Wellness Core Large Breed formula is a grain-free, high protein recipe with substantial kibble size to promote proper chewing time in larger mouths. Increased amounts of glucosamine and chondroitin also supports bone and joint health in these larger sized dogs.
This recipe contains the perfect amount of fat and calories to help maintain a healthy weight for a dog of this size. A higher quality food with an abundance of animal protein and nutrient-rich vegetables like spinach, kale and broccoli.
|No meat by-products or fillers|
|Grain-free. Absolutely no corn, wheat or soy|
|High protein recipe for strong muscles|
|No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives|
Wellness Core Grain-Free Large Breed is recommended by 94% of actual buyers on Chewy.com and is highly recommended for large breed adult dogs.
- Options:See all available recipes
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Large Breed Chicken is a great option for those looking for higher protein and an optimal blend of calcium, phosphorus and essential vitamins to help keep bones strong.
|Glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints|
|Antioxidants to boost dogs immune system|
- Options:See all available recipes
Best Senior Dog Food: Reviewed For You Faqs
What should I feed my senior dog?
The best food for your senior dog will vary depending on his or her size, breed, age, and health issues. Seeking vet recommended ideas from your dogs veterinarian and foods that target specific health concerns your dog is facing can help you select the right food to meet their needs.
Is wet food better for older dogs?
Wet and dry dog food are both suitable options for seniors. However, some seniors suffer from teeth issues, a sensitive stomach, or other problems that may make wet dog food a better option for them. If you notice your senior is having trouble chewing dry dog food or doesnt seem as interested in eating as he once did, you may want to consider switching to wet dog food.
Why do older dogs need special food?
All older dogs dont necessarily require senior dog food. However, some senior dogs develop health issues, such as joint problems, constipation, or sensitive stomachs, that may be better controlled with a senior food. Weight control is also important for many senior dogs that are obese. Senior foods are often formulated specifically to help dogs reach their ideal weight.
When is a dog considered a senior?
The age when a dog is considered a senior can differ between breeds. Smaller dogs have a longer lifespan. They are generally considered seniors when they are around 7 years old. Since a large dogs lifespan is often shorter than a smaller dogs, theyre considered a senior around the age of 5 to 6 years old.
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Hows Do The Nutritional Requirement Of Senior Dogs Different From Adult Dogs
One of the major side effects of aging is a decline in activity level. Also, organs start to lose their efficiency. During this life stage, it becomes difficult for senior dogs to digest a calorie-dense meal. Of course, lack of activity can also lead to weight gain. Senior dog food formulas have certain dietary actors to help manage medical and physical changes better. The food crafted for senior dogs has nutrient adjustments, higher digestibility, added joint supplements, softer texture for easier chewing, and added triglycerides, antioxidants, and essential omega fatty acids to sustain your dogs better health in his senior years.
Purina One Smartblend Vibrant Maturity Adult 7+ Formula Dry Dog Food
If youre looking for something more affordable, Purina ONE SmartBlend Vibrant Maturity Adult 7+ Formula Dry Dog Food is a decent low-cost dog food for senior dogs. The first ingredient is chicken rather than chicken meal, but this food does contain a lot of fillers, including chicken by-product meal as the fourth ingredient listed on the label.
Purina One SmartBlend Vibrant Maturity contains tender morsels for a taste your senior dog will love and antioxidants for mental sharpness and healthy energy.
Notable Qualities and Features:
- Chicken is the first ingredient
- Contains glucosamine
Chicken, Rice Flour, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken By-Product Meal , Soybean Meal, Whole Grain Corn, Corn Germ Meal, Oat Meal, Medium-Chain Triglyceride Vegetable Oil, Whole Grain Wheat, Fish Meal , Pea Fiber, Poultry And Pork Digest, Beef Fat Naturally Preserved With Mixed-Tocopherols, Glycerin, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Dried Egg Product, Mono And Dicalcium Phosphate, Caramel Color, Potassium Chloride, Dried Carrots, Dried Peas, VITAMINS , Choline Chloride, MINERALS , L-Lysine Monohydrochloride, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate , Sulfur, Garlic Oil. E-4181
Most dog owners report that their senior dogs love the taste and seem to be doing fine on this food. There are a lot of reports of dogs having allergic reactions and stomach problems. There are also reports of bags of food containing mold or insects.
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