Generally, dogs are considered to be of “senior” status when they’ve reached half of their life expectancy. Life expectancies differ depending on the breed of the dog; smaller dogs usually live from 15-20 years, while larger dogs live for about 12-15 years. When dogs become seniors, their nutritional needs change and become more important to regulate and keep track of. The main issue that pet owners face with their pets is obesity, due to the slowing of the dog’s metabolic rate of which they burn calories, making it much easier for them to become overweight or even obese.
Often, senior dogs just need lower calorie diets in order to help prevent obesity, but PetMD also shares a few tips on ways to help keep your senior pup on a proper, nutritional diet.
- Make sure you’re feeding your dog food for their proper age, avoiding giving them food labeled “multi-stage” when possible.
- As dogs age, their ability to retain water decreases, so they often need a lot more water. Ensure that your dog stays properly hydrated.
- Talk with a veterinarian regarding the diets of your pet, especially if they have any special conditions, like diabetes or liver disease.
- Diets higher in fiber are important for any dog suffering from constipation
- High protein diets are essential for helping senior dogs maintain their body weight and muscle mass, without putting any extra stress on their kidneys.
In addition to these diet adjustments there are some supplements for helping your dog’s body function correctly through the regulation of digestion and muscle growth. They can even help prevent serious health problems caused from vitamin deficiency. If your dog isn’t getting all of the vitamins they need from their dog food, there are additional supplements that the doctors of the Avon Lake Animal Clinic suggest taking in order to help support specific aspects of their health.
Need More Advice? Get it from the Vets at Avon Lake Pet Health Campus
With a team of 11 veterinarians, combined with a superior support staff, Avon Lake Animal Clinic offers a complete solution for your pet’s care, and can help you decide what products and tactics are best for your pet’s needs. A full service AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) accredited animal hospital located in the Cleveland area, we care for many species including dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, pocket pets, birds, reptiles and other non-traditional species.