Does your dog’s need for protein and calories change as it ages? MGS Insurance delves into ways to maintain the health of those gray faces far beyond their senior years.
Your dog goes through stages of development just like humans do. Are you aware of how aging affects our energy levels and eating patterns? That also applies to your dog. You could notice some changes as your dog ages, such as weight gain or loss and even the emergence of some health issues.
Stages of your Dog’s Life
The lifespan of each dog varies depending on breed and way of life. A Whippet Pitbull Mix, for instance, will live a shorter life than a Golden Retriever. When a dog reaches the halfway point of their predicted lifespan, they are regarded as “mature,” and as they approach the final quarter, they are referred to as “seniors.
“If your dog lives longer than the average lifespan for their breed, they enter a distinct stage known as “geriatric.”
What to look out for with Senior Dogs
We enjoy our senior pets‘ gray looks, and aging is a normal process. But it also means that you need to keep an eye out for any changes in your dog’s health and behavior.
Perhaps your dog starts to relax more. He or she may put on weight or, conversely, may lose some. Their immune system and digestive system might not be what they once were.
Modifying the Diet
Senior pets need extra attention when it comes to their nutritional requirements, according to the AAHA Nutrition and Weight Management Guidelines for 2021. As individuals get older, their metabolism changes, and they frequently require fewer calories but more specific nutrients. Due to aging-related variables such immunosenescence (gradual immune system decline) and inflammaging (chronic, low-grade inflammation), both dogs and cats may lose weight overall or muscle.
As dogs age, they may lose lean body mass and gain fat, which, as was already mentioned, can cause problems with movement and health conditions like obesity. calories then? Yes, an older dog might require less of those. To make sure you aren’t affecting their energy levels, consult your veterinarian before making any reductions.
Understanding the special nutritional needs of your senior pet will help you protect their wellbeing as they age. Their body and muscle condition ratings can offer insightful information about their health and point out when dietary changes may be required.
Consult your veterinarian to create a diet that is tailored to your pet’s unique needs, especially if they are older. This diet may contain higher-quality protein and more frequent but smaller meals. Due to the fact that each dog has different dietary requirements, there are no universal feeding recommendations for older canines.
Water is important, especially for older dogs who are more susceptible to dehydration. Maintain a fresh and full water bowl.
Even senior dogs deserve treats, but only if they are nutritious. Consider fruits and vegetables like cucumbers or green beans (particularly if they’re not picky).
Expert advice on feeding Senior Dogs
- For an aged pet, switching to more frequent, smaller meals may be preferable.
- Dry food should be packaged tightly to stay fresh.
- Food should be served warm.
- Give your dog a peaceful eating area so they can concentrate on their food.
- We’re not going for the “chubby elder” appearance here, so don’t overfeed.
Please read: LAIKA THE SPACE DOG!
For years, our dog has been our ride-or-die, and they have no plans to stop. Senior years can be some of the greatest by adjusting diet and keeping an eye on health. Every dog is different, so always seek out specific guidance from your veterinarian.
Don’t ever forget to avail Pet Insurance from us!