Table of contents:
Video: Feeding Older Dogs
Experts call dogs elderly if they are in the last third of their life expectancy. For example, a Great Dane with an average life expectancy of 9 years will be considered elderly at the age of 6. A poodle, which lives on average around 15 years old, becomes elderly when it reaches the age of 10 years.
Dogs are believed to live much longer today than they did 30 years ago. There are many factors that contribute to this, including the best vaccines and veterinary care, but one of the most important factors is better nutrition. In an elderly dog, many physiological changes occur in the body, so it is recommended to select a different diet for her than before. True, there are exceptions to this rule: if the dog is active and in good shape, it can continue to be fed and trained according to the previous program.
Age changes… With age, certain changes occur in the body of dogs: these can be behavioral changes caused by arthritis or cognitive senile dysfunction. Dogs often cease to tolerate small children, they have problems with sleep and the rules of behavior in the house (for example, they get dirty at home), and also there are periodic periods of disorientation in space. Older dogs have impaired vision and hearing, so it is easy to frighten or shock them. Older dogs are often prone to obesity and muscle loss. They become less active and need extended periods of rest. Teeth wear out and fall out, and gum disease is common. Various diseases develop, for example, heart or kidney failure, oncology.In view of the above, special attention should be paid to careful selection of the diet for an aging dog.
Obesity tendency. Due to the decreased activity, older dogs often become overweight. Obesity is a common problem for aging dogs as they do not receive the same training and weight loss is already becoming problematic. It is much easier to prevent your dog from getting overweight than trying to make him lose weight as he gets older. But if your dog does gain weight, you will have to work hard to get rid of it. This is very important as it will help prolong your pet's life and keep it healthy.
Diet for older dogs. Пожилые собаки нуждаются в сбалансированном рационе, содержащем пониженное количество калорий, белков и жиров и содержащем повышенное количество углеводов. Некоторым пожилым собакам можно сохранить прежнее питание, уменьшив лишь его объем. Специальные диеты для пожилых собак с повышенным количеством углеводов помогают быстро насыщаться при потреблении меньшего числа калорий. В коммерческих кормах для пожилых собак содержится приблизительно 18% белка (на основе сухого вещества), тогда как в диете для собак с заболеваниями почек требуется около 14% белка. Если у вашей собаки наблюдается почечная недостаточность, то низко белковая диета понизит рабочую нагрузку на почки. Снижение жиров обычно приводит к снижению калорийности корма, поэтому многие диеты для пожилых собак содержат около 8-12% жиров. Пожилые собаки склонны к запорам, поэтому в кормах для них содержится повышенное количество волокна (в пределах 3-5%), для чего в них добавляют пшеничные отруби.
How to get an older dog to eat… Some older dogs do not suffer from obesity, but from the opposite problem - lack of appetite and as a result of being too thin. If your dog begins to pick and choose about food, it is necessary to fully examine it by a veterinarian to rule out any possible illnesses. If the examination reveals no abnormalities, you need to make an effort to get your dog interested in food. If your dog usually eats dry food, it may be difficult to chew the hard pellets. You can offer her small-granulated feed or pre-soaked with water. Adding canned food or broth to dry food will make it more appealing. Some dogs like cat food very much, however, it contains a high percentage of protein, which makes it undesirable to feed an older dog.Small amounts of cat food can be mixed with dry dog food to make the food more flavorful and appealing. Some dogs like to have some milk or eggs added to their food. Others are more suitable for feeding with natural food supplemented with all essential vitamins and minerals. You'd better consult your veterinarian for a natural diet.
Diet supplements for older dogs. Older dogs have special needs for vitamins and minerals. Thus, a fairly large percentage of aging dogs suffer from arthritis. Giving supplements containing glucosamine and chondroitin on a daily basis can prevent joint damage and make your dog feel better. Experts consider these supplements to be completely safe for health. If you are not sure if your dog is getting a balanced diet, then supplementing with various vitamins / minerals will prevent the deficiency of these substances in the body. Some dog owners provide their pets with antioxidants as well. In addition, adding wheat bran to the diet of an aging dog has a preventive effect against constipation.
Older dogs show a variety of physiological changes in the body. To keep your dog healthy for as long as possible, you need to consider these dietary changes.
Copyright holder portal Zooclub