Even though you might have expected her puppy years to last for a long time, your pet will start to age, and her condition will start to deteriorate as days continue to pass by. During this stage of her life, you need to keep a careful watch out for your pet, which includes monitoring her diet and her eating style.
In this post, we will be looking at 7 key ingredients that should be included in dog foods for senior dogs, and I’ll also list the reasons why you need to implement these ingredients into your pet’s diet plan. Before we go any further, let’s cover some introductory questions that might satisfy your curiosity in this area.
Why Should I Consider Changing the Diet Plan for Senior Dogs?
When your dog first started out as a puppy, his metabolism rate was high, which means that he needed more energy and more calories for his body to take in. This meant the dog food for your puppy included nutrients that encouraged a high-calorie diet; however, as your dog starts to age, his metabolism rate starts to deteriorate.
This means that your dog will slow down and stop moving around as much. Due to his lower energy levels, he will not be spending all the calories that come in. If your pet continues to eat high-calorie dog food even though the metabolism rate has slowed down, he will start gaining weight, which can deteriorate his health even more!
In addition to a low-calorie diet, your dog needs supplementary ingredients that can support his immune system, digestive health, internal organs, and muscle & joints. As your dog starts to progressively age, he will need a special diet plan that will slow down the effects of aging.
Even though this is a general trend that is applicable to most dogs, some dogs are still fine with their dog food even though they have aged for quite some time. If your dog is still doing fine with his food and you don’t find any problems with him at all, maintain the same diet by all means!
Key Ingredients to Include in Dog Food for Senior Dogs
As you might have expected, the key ingredients for senior dogs are quite similar to what senior citizens should have as you start to age and grow old in years. Without further ado, let’s jump straight in, and I really hope that this information helps you out!
One of the key ingredients that you should be looking for in senior dog foods is high-quality protein, which means increased levels of protein in less amount of dog food. As your dog starts to eat less, his body will start to shrink in size, which can make a significant impact on his activity levels and also on his overall health.
Implementing increased levels of protein in his diet helps maintain his muscle tone and even causes muscles to grow and further develop. This change can prevent your dog from becoming haggard and ragged as he continues to age, and even provided a positive change that can help maintain his body weight in check.
This ingredient never stops popping up, does it? Being a key ingredient in digestive health, fiber is vital for removing any obstructions in the digestive tract and plays an important role in maintaining a healthy digestive system. Due to its important role, fiber is a must-have ingredient that should be in the senior dog food.
Even though there is no scientific evidence against this ingredient, antioxidants play a key role in the immune system by preventing a process called oxidation from taking place. If oxidation does take place in our body, this chemical reaction will produce a molecule called free radicals, which can damage the cells in your pet’s body.
4. Healthy Oils / Minerals
Healthy oils such as Omega 3 Fatty Acids provide great benefits to both dogs and humans due to their anti-inflammatory properties. Known to reduce inflammation and promote joint health, omega 3 fatty acids are a great ingredient to include in senior dog foods due to their defense against arthritis.
Even though these minerals are probably included in your dog feed, it doesn’t hurt to be extra cautious. Essential minerals such as copper, zinc, manganese, and iron ensure normal body functions, and they support the immune system, respiratory system, cardiovascular system, and also the nervous system.
5. Vitamins / Calcium
In addition to all these key ingredients, don’t forget to include the vitamins as well. Having a different range of names from A through K, vitamins can be easily obtained from dog food, but it doesn’t hurt to double-check.
Calcium is also a vital ingredient that should never be forgotten since this is the reason why we were so encouraged to drink milk during our growing years. Milk contains calcium, which plays a vital role in bone health and growth, so please make sure that your dog has enough calcium in his diet.
6. Joint Supplements
Even though these key ingredients might not be found among your list of senior dog foods, you might be looking for joint supplements if you have a dog who is suffering from arthritis. Key ingredients that should be included in the joint supplement are glucosamine, chondroitin, or hyaluronic acid.
All of these ingredients provide joint support for your canine companion by preventing the cartilage between the bones from breaking down and also by providing a great source of mobility between the joints. These ingredients are also great to use for your personal use as you get older in age!
7. Lower Calories / Lower Sodium
Even though this section might be common sense to you guys, I still wanted to cover this section just in case you didn’t get my point. As your dog begins to age and starts to wear down, you need to implement a lower calorie diet to meet his level of activity. If you don’t, your dog can easily become overweight in a short period of time.
When you try to find a senior dog food for your pet, make sure to find a product with low amounts of sodium since high sodium amounts will just increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and be detrimental to your dog’s health.
Recommended Products for Senior Dogs
After reading about those key ingredients that should in your pet’s diet, let’s try to apply what we have learned today. Since buying high-quality dog food is the easiest and the most consistent method, I’ll try to recommend several dog food with great ingredients for aging dogs.
Formulated by Purina Smartblend, this dog food for senior dogs is offered in two different categories, which are dry food and wet food. In addition, it has multiple flavors (chicken / turkey & barley) and contains high-quality protein, antioxidants, and joint supplements that promote mental sharpness and a healthy lifestyle.
The recommended products are not solely restricted to dog food since your pet can’t get every key ingredient solely from his food. In order to provide him with other healthy ingredients, you need to use supplements that are formulated just for your aging canine companion.
Coming from a well-established company called Zesty Paws, the multifunctional supplement for senior dogs contain high-quality ingredients and various vitamins that support joints, heart health, immune system, urinary tract, skin health, brain health, and provides eye support.
If you can’t believe that only one supplement contains all these benefits, visit the product’s website yourself and check out whether what they are saying is true or not. But I have to say, they have quite the reputation, and many dog owners have left positive reviews regarding their products, so I’ll leave the judging up to you.
Conclusion: Hope This Helps!
I know you are going to worry and fret as your dog starts to age, and the best action that you can take is to place precautionary measures in place. For one, you can upgrade his diet plan and maybe implement several supplements to boost his health, which I have provided in detail in our previous section.
Another measure that you can put in advance is by signing up your pet to an insurance plan. You might have never thought that this type of insurance ever existed, but it does since even your pet needs medical treatment. If you ever want to try it out, why not try looking into a pet plan before it gets too late?
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Even though you might not need it during his puppy years, you will be going on a frequent visit to a vet as your dog continues to age in years. You might even thank me later down the road, but as always, the final decision is up to you!
This is the end of my splurb here, and I hope that you have found this post called 7 Key Ingredients to Include in Senior Dog Food helpful. As always, feel free to visit our homepage for regular updates and I hope you have the great rest of your day and don’t forget to put a smile on your face!