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Senior Dog Diet, Healthy Formula for Your Old Canine Companion

Posted by Dr Sam, On 7 Jan, 2024 | Updated On 10 Jan, 2024 No Comments »

Enhance your senior dog's well-being with expert tips on nutrition, hydration, and weight control for a joyful and vibrant aging journey

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The Senior Dog

Dogs grow up at different rates, depending on their breed. On average, dogs live around 13 years, but smaller breeds can live much longer than bigger ones. That’s why we consider dogs as seniors at different ages based on their size.

Small to medium size dogs under 50 pounds are seniors at 11 – 15 years old; those between 50 – 90 pounds are seniors around 9 years old, and very large dogs over 90 pounds are seniors at about 7.5 years old.

When dogs get older, they can face various health issues. The main reasons older dogs pass away are cancer, kidney disease, and heart disease. It’s important to regularly check older pets for these problems to catch them early.

Nutritional Needs of the Senior Dog

Water Need of Senior Dog

To support aging dogs, always make sure they have access to fresh water. Keep an eye on their water intake because an increase could signal changes in kidney function or other issues.

Get the appropriate amount of water your dog needs for healthy living with our dog daily water requirement (DWR) calculator.

Calories for Senior Dog Diet

As dogs get older, their metabolism slows down due to losing muscle and gaining fat. By the age of 7, most dogs need about 13% less energy each day. This can lead to weight gain in older dogs, but very old dogs might become underweight. Feeding them a digestible, energy-dense diet can help.

Be sure your senior dog consumes an appropriate amount of calories per day, check out our dog daily energy requirement (DER) calculator. The calculator takes all the variables like age, activeness to determine your dog’s DER.

Senior Dog Diet Fat Requirement

Senior dogs often face weight issues, so their diet should have enough but not too much fat. For very old dogs losing weight, adding more fat to their diet can make it tastier and denser in energy, meaning they eat less but still get what they need. The fat content in senior dog diets can range from 7% to 15%, depending on their body condition.

Old Canine Protein Need

The protein needs of older dogs are debated. While they may need more protein due to muscle loss, some suggest reducing it to prevent kidney disease. However, higher protein doesn’t seem to cause kidney issues in healthy dogs. If kidney disease is present, lowering protein might help.

Minerals Need of Old Dog

Avoid too much phosphorus in senior dog diets to prevent kidney disease. Recommended levels are between 0.25% and 0.75%. Keep a balanced calcium-to-phosphorus ratio, aiming for 0.5% to 1.0% calcium. Unlike people, older dogs don’t get osteoporosis, so extra calcium is unnecessary.

There’s no need to restrict sodium and chloride in healthy senior dogs, but don’t go overboard. Aim for 0.2% to 0.35% sodium in their diets.

Dietary Recommendations for Senior Dogs

Nutrient Dietary Recommendation
Protein 15% – 23%
Fat 7% – 15%
Fiber ≥ 2.0%
Calcium 0.5% – 1.0%
Phosphorus 0.25% – 0.75%

Our recipes for senior dogs are formulated with these healthy specifications.  

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