The Best Food for Your Elderly Dog by Farah Al-Khojai |Last Updated 12/1/2019
The aging process is a reality that (unfortunately) all beings have to face. You, your family members, and your dog(s) are going to go through it.
For everyone, the diet you consume as you age is going to evolve to reflect the changing needs of your body. Especially for dogs, their increasing age has a significant influence on their nutritional needs.
Dogs have two distinct stages of aging - maturity, and senior - and their nutrition needs change during both of these stages.
Usually, the maturity phase occurs at the midpoint of your dog's life. During this time, the signs of aging will not yet be visible; however, it is still essential to provide them with the appropriate diet as this will assist them in preserving youthful energy and aid their body in combating the consequences of cell aging.
As your dog moves into the senior phase, the signs of aging are going to begin to show, and they will undoubtedly start to lose some of their youthful energy.
As they are running around less, they also might start to gain some extra weight — a surefire sign that you need to shift them to a uniquely formulated elderly dog food.
Below is a guide to help you choose the best food for your elderly dog.
These elderly dog foods are specially formulated for older canines to ensure they are consuming a complete and balanced diet that also targets their bodies changing needs.
Most commercial dog foods for elderly canines have:
As the needs of elderly dogs are different to puppies, commercial dog food brands are continually researching and developing the appropriate meals.
If you have a senior dog, you need to be thinking mindfully about what you are feeding him. The best food for your elderly dog is not going to resemble the food he ate as a puppy. He most likely needs different foods to what he was consuming as a puppy.
For the most part, the answer to this question is dependent on the breed and health of your dog. This is because smaller dogs usually mature faster and then age slower; whereas those who belong to giant breeds are considered “elderly” at around five or six years old.
The point of switching to "elderly dog" food is to help your pet repair, and maintain their bodily functions. Additionally, these products will also ensure his metabolism is working correctly and that he isn’t consuming too many extra calories.
Talking with your pet's vet will give you a better idea of the type of food and diet that is suggested for your dog. Depending on whether or not your dog is facing specific health issues, the diet he will consume will cater to these problems.
However, some older dogs can keep eating the same food they have always been consuming, just in smaller amounts.
For this reason, it is crucial to take your dog to regular veterinary exams and blood testing to ensure the commercial dog food you are buying is the appropriate one for them.
What does the best food for your elderly dog actually look like? As your pet gets older, he will need a diet that is lower in calories and higher in fiber than when he was a puppy. His diet must continue to have an adequate amount of protein and fat.
Generally, it is suggested that an elderly dog consumes a diet with a fat level around 8 to 12%. Additionally, fiber levels need to be higher as an older dog is more likely to experience constipation issues.
Supplements such as fish oil gel-tabs, salmon oil, and other omega-3 fatty acids can be purchased to enhance your older dog's health further.
Throughout your dog's life, high-quality protein is vital to ensure your furry friend has healthy, strong muscle mass as well as vigorous organ and immune functions.
In addition to a balanced diet, your dog must also still be getting enough exercise, as this will help his metabolism, digestion, and appetite.
Furthermore, you can't overlook his water bowl! No matter their age, dogs need to have water available at all times. Otherwise, their digestion and appetite will be royally messed up.
As your dog gets older and decreases the amount of daily activity, you may find him losing his appetite. One way to combat this issue is to vary the meals you are offering him (this may mean on a daily or several times a week basis).
Regularly Switching things up will keep him interested in the meals because we all know variety is the spice of life! This means that the best food for your elderly dog is going to change periodically over time.
Additionally, give your dog food that is at room temperature as this ensures the aroma of the dish is released and he can smell it coming.
Moreover, the older your dog gets, the more likely he or she will want to eat alone. Give him his bowl in a quiet spot in your home, away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the family. You can then guarantee he will start tucking into his meal.
Just like you, it is essential that your dog gets regular dental checks throughout his life. Unfortunately, too many elderly dogs suffer from severe dental issues because the root of their problems was never addressed.
If your dog is having a hard time chewing and digesting his food, it may be due to dental disease or tooth pain. While feeding them, softer meals can be a short-term fix, make sure you take him to a certified veterinarian to get everything checked out thoroughly.
At all ages, you need to be careful that your dog is maintaining a healthy weight. However, when they are puppies, it is easier for them to remain at a healthy weight because they are so energetic. As your dog gets older, and his activity levels decrease, it is even more vital to keep an eye on his weight.
While your dog is (naturally) the cutest bundle of joy, you must resist feeding him treats all the time.
Also, keep meals an appropriate size (measuring out the kibble is highly recommended). Don't allow him to free-feed all day as well. Maintain a regular eating schedule (at least twice a day) to ensure he is satisfied but not overeating.
That being said, you can still give your dog treats every now and again. (After all, what is life without a treat?!) However, be selective regarding what you chose to feed him.
Just like for humans, fresh fruits and veggies can be enjoyed as a treat. The best way to get your dog excited about fruits and vegetables is to start feeding him these foods while he is still young.
As you probably already stock these in your fridge, available examples of healthy treats include apple slices (make sure to remove the seeds), blueberries, and mini carrots.
As there are so many things you need to update throughout your dog's life, many owners neglect to purchase new food bowls.
Yet, once your dog gets older, there is a good chance he will need a bowl that is more accommodating. For example, if he has joint troubles, a raised bowl can lessen your dog's need to bend to eat. This will make a big difference in ensuring he is as comfortable as possible during mealtimes.
Additionally, don't forget to wash the bowls regularly — just as you do for your own plates.
Speaking of joint problems, many elderly dogs deal with some form of arthritis and pain. If this is the case, there is a good chance your vet has recommended a commercial pet food that is specially formulated to enhance joint health.
However, you may also consider adding a joint supplement to your dog's food, especially if he is over the age of seven.
When researching joint supplements, ensure the one you choose contains MSM, chondroitin, and glucosamine - a winning combination for healthy dog joints.
Lamb Meal, Peas, Tapioca Flour, Pea Flour, Chicken Meal, Dried Tomato Pomace, Salmon Meal (source of DHA), Avocado, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Alfalfa Meal, Natural Flavors, Chicken Cartilage (Natural Source of Chondroitin Sulfate and Glucosamine), Flax Seed (Source of Omega 3), Potassium Chloride, Salt, Kelp Meal, Vitamins (Choline Chloride, a-Tocopherol Acetate (Source of Vitamin E), L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), Biotin, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Source of Vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Source of Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Minerals (Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Selenium Yeast, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Calcium Iodate), Avocado Oil, Rosemary Extract, Sage Extract, Pineapple Stem (Source of Bromelain), Papain, Dehydrated Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dehydrated Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dehydrated Bifidobacterium Thermophilum Fermentation Product, Dehydrated Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product.
Chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, sweet potatoes, garbanzo beans, peas, potatoes, suncured alfalfa, chicken fat, natural flavor, taurine, minerals (iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite), vitamins (vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid), choline chloride, mixed tocopherols (a preservative), dried enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract. Contains a source of live (viable) naturally occurring microorganisms.
Whole grain brown rice, chicken, chicken meal, peas, egg, oatmeal, rice bran, dried beet pulp, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), natural flavor, flaxseed, potassium chloride, choline chloride, glucosamine hydrochloride, dried chicory root, L-Carnitine, kale, chia seed, pumpkin, blueberries, oranges, quinoa, dried kelp, coconut, spinach, carrots, papaya, yucca schidigera extract, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, vitamin E supplement, beta carotene, chondroitin sulfate, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D supplement, folic acid.
Duck, Chicken Meal, Chicken, Oatmeal, Brown Rice, Pearled Barley, Menhaden Fish Meal, Potatoes, Millet, Dried Tomato Pomace, Lamb, White Rice, Dried Whole Egg, Salmon Oil, Cheese, Flaxseed, Brewers Dried Yeast, Alfalfa Meal, Carrots, Lettuce, Celery, Chicken Cartilage, Monosodium Phosphate, Salt, Potassium Chloride, DL-Methionine, L-Tryptophan, Taurine, Chicory Root Extract, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Sodium Selenite, Sorbic Acid (Preservative), Vitamins, Minerals, Probiotics.
Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Corn, Whole Grain Sorghum, Cracked Pearled Barley, Whole Grain Oats, Pork Fat, Dried Beet Pulp, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken Liver Flavor, Soybean Oil, Lactic Acid, Pork Flavor, Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Iodized Salt, Choline Chloride, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), L-Lysine, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Taurine, Oat Fiber, L-Carnitine, Mixed Tocopherols for freshness, Natural Flavors, Beta-Carotene, Apples, Broccoli, Carrots, Cranberries, Green Peas.
Chicken Meal, Chickpeas, Peas, Lentils, Dried Ground Potatoes, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Dried Molasses Beet Pulp, Flaxseed, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Pumpkin, Cranberries, Apples, Brewers Dried Yeast, Papayas, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Blueberries, Pomegranates, Vitamin E Supplement, Inulin, L-Carnitine, Dried Kelp, Zinc Proteinate, Mixed Tocopherols added to preserve freshness, Zinc Sulfate, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Vitamin A Supplement, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Ground Cinnamon, Ground Fennel, Ground Peppermint, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Dried Lactobacillus bulgaricus Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus thermophilus Fermentation Product, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Dried Bacillus licheniformis Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus oryzae Fermentation Product, Dried Trichoderma reesei Fermentation Product, Dried Rhizopus oryzae Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract, Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract.
Chicken Meal (Source Of Glucosamine And Chondroitin Sulfate), Chickpeas, Peas, Tapioca, Chicken, Salmon Meal, Egg Product, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols And Citric Acid), Freeze Dried Chicken, Salmon Oil, Dried Tomato Pomace, Natural Flavor, Freeze Dried Chicken Liver, Pumpkinseeds, Montmorillonite Clay, Freeze Dried Chicken Heart, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin), Choline Chloride, Carrots, Apples, Cranberries, Potassium Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide), L-Carnitine, Turmeric, Salt, Dried Kelp, Blueberries, Dried Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract.
Deboned Trout, Turkey Meal, Salmon Meal, Yellow Peas, Sweet Potato, Chickpeas, Deboned Turkey, Pea Fiber, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols & Citric Acid), Lentils, Natural Flavor, Yeast Culture, Dried Chicory Root, Dried Tomatoes, Dried Carrots, Dried Blueberries, Dried Apples, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, L-Carnitine, Choline Chloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Zinc Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), Iron Proteinate, Niacin, Copper Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Source of Vitamin B1), Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Manganous Oxide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Source of Vitamin B6), Sodium Selenite, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Dried Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract
Chicken, Brewers Rice, Whole Brown Rice, Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate), Split Peas, Rice Bran, Barley, Pea Protein, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Dried Sweet Potato, Natural Flavor, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Fish Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, DL-Methionine, Salt, Dried Apples, Dried Blueberries, Dried Carrots, Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid (preservatives), Zinc Sulfate, Niacin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Selenium Yeast, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract.
Fresh chicken meat (13%), fresh whole eggs (7%), fresh turkey meat (7%), fresh whole herring (7%), fresh chicken liver (6%), fresh whole flounder (4%), fresh turkey liver (4%), fresh chicken necks (4%), fresh chicken heart (4%), fresh turkey heart (4%), chicken (dehydrated, 4%), turkey (dehydrated, 4%), whole mackerel (dehydrated, 4%), whole sardine (dehydrated, 4%), whole herring (dehydrated, 4%), whole red lentils, whole green lentils, whole green peas, lentil fiber, whole chickpeas, whole yellow peas, whole pinto beans, chicken cartilage (1%), whole navy beans, herring oil (1%), chicken fat (1%), turkey cartilage (1%), chicken liver (freeze-dried), turkey liver (freeze-dried), fresh whole pumpkin, fresh whole butternut squash, fresh whole zucchini, fresh whole parsnips, fresh carrots, fresh whole red delicious apples, fresh whole bartlett pears, fresh kale, fresh spinach, fresh beet greens, fresh turnip greens, brown kelp, whole cranberries, whole blueberries, whole saskatoon berries, chicory root, turmeric root, milk thistle, burdock root, lavender, marshmallow root, rosehips, Enterococcus faecium.
Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Salmon Meal, De-Boned Chicken, De-Boned Turkey, De-Boned Trout, Potatoes, Peas, Tapioca, Lentils, Chickpeas, Pea Fiber, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Duck Meal, Natural Chicken Flavor, Whole Dried Egg, Apples, Herring Meal, Flaxseed, Salmon Oil, Alfalfa, De-Boned Duck, De-Boned Salmon, Sweet Potatoes, Potassium Chloride, Pumpkin, Carrots, Bananas, Blueberries, Cranberries, Broccoli, Blackberries, Squash, Papayas, Pomegranate, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Dried Chicory Root, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus Oryzae Fermentation Extract, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Extract, L-Carnitine, Choline Chloride, Vitamins (Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (A Source Of Vitamin C), D-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Beta-Carotene, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement), Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Zinc Oxide, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Sulphate, Ferrous Sulphate, Calcium Iodate, Manganous Oxide, Selenium Yeast), Sodium Chloride, Taurine, New Zealand Green Mussels, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Chondroitin Sulphate, Dried Rosemary, Green Tea Extract, Peppermint, Parsley, Rosehips, Zedoary, Dandelion, Chamomile, Ginger, Fennel, Turmeric, Juniper Berries, Licorice, Marigold Extract, Cardamom, Cloves.
Chicken, Rice Flour, Poultry By-Product Meal (Source Of Glucosamine), Whole Grain Corn, Soybean Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Whole Grain Wheat, Corn Germ Meal, Barley, Beef Tallow Naturally Preserved With Mixed-Tocopherols, Fish Meal (Source Of Glucosamine), Natural Liver Flavor, Dried Egg Product, Glycerin, Fish Oil, Wheat Bran, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Mono And Dicalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Minerals [Zinc Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite], Choline Chloride, Dl-Methionine, Vitamins [Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin (Vitamin B-3), Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B-5), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B-2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Folic Acid (Vitamin B-9), Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Vitamin K), Biotin (Vitamin B-7)], L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Vitamin C), Dried Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product, L-Lysine Monohydrochloride, Garlic Oil. F448617
Beef Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Whole Grain Millet, Grain Sorghum, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Menhaden Fish Meal (source of DHA-Docosahexaenoic Acid), Yeast Culture, Chicken Meal, Pork Meal, Peas, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Blood Meal, Natural Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Carrot Powder, Tomato Pomace (source of Lycopene), Taurine, Salt, Choline Chloride, Dried Seaweed Meal, Zinc Methionine Complex, Vitamin E Supplement, Hydrolyzed Yeast, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Calcium Carbonate, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Ferrous Sulfate, L-Carnitine, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Selenium Yeast, Copper Sulfate, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Biotin, Riboflavin Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Chondroitin Sulfate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Powdered Cellulose, Brewers Dried Yeast, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus Oryzae Fermentation Extract, Dried Trichoderma Longibrachiatum Fermentation Extract, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Extract, Silicon Dioxide, Tetra Sodium Pyrophosphate, Vegetable Oil, Rosemary Extract, Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract, Lecithin, Fructooligosaccharide, Folic Acid, Yucca Schidigera Extract
Deboned Chicken, Oatmeal, Ground Barley, Rye Flour, Chicken Meal, Ground Brown Rice, Tomato Pomace, Whitefish, Rice Bran, Natural Chicken Flavor, Tomatoes, Ground Flaxseed, Ground Millet, Canola Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a natural source of Vitamin E), Carrots, Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, Apples, Blueberries, Potassium Chloride, Vitamins [Beta-Carotene, Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B-12 Supplement], Minerals [Zinc Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite], Choline Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Mixed Tocopherols (a natural preservative), Taurine, Chicory Root Extract, Garlic Powder, Yucca Shidigera Extract, Green Tea Extract, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum, Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation products, Rosemary Extract. This is a naturally preserved product.
As every dog is different, there is no way that one nutrition plan or commercial dog food brand can be the perfect one for all. Instead, take the time to discuss options with your vet and observe how your dog is behaving around meal times.
There is no doubt that you want to keep your pet as healthy as possible, for as long as possible. By following these tips, you will be seeing his tail wagging for a long time to come.