WHEN DOES YOUR DOG NEED TO CHANGE TO SENIOR DOG FOOD?
Most dogs will enter their senior years at around 7 years old. This can even be a little sooner for large breed dogs and just like us hoomans, appetites, needs and desires will begin to change.
As our beloved dogs become OAPs - Old Aged Pets - they may slow down. Their hearing and sight deteriorates and the tasty treats we have treated them to will start to catch up with them; a lot like us...
We know that older dogs need special care and attention and want the best for man’s best friend. A diet for older dogs is especially important to keep them at a healthy weight and provide them with all the supplements that they need to keep them feeling healthy.
We’ll be taking a look at what happens to dogs as they get older and how our Betty & Butch senior food will help to keep them in tip top shape.
When Do Dogs Start To Become Senior?
Whilst middle age is now generally considered to be above seven years old in dogs, there is a notable difference between breeds.
Generally, bigger dogs age faster. Picking up on changes in your dog’s behaviour means you can quickly tailor their diet or treatments and remarkably improve your dog’s quality of life.
What Happens To Dogs Bodies As They Get Older?
As dogs get older, their bodies use less energy which means that fat is more likely to be deposited. It can become a lot easier for them to gain weight as their bodies slow down and they exercise less so all the tasty treats that your dog has enjoyed will start to catch up with them. This means that fatty lumps, called lipomas may begin to appear.
Equally, some dogs may lose weight due to poor digestion in which case it is always best to consult a vet. Other changes mean your dog’s mouth becomes drier and swallowing can become more difficult. Muscles and bones become weaker and the immune system may become less effective at fighting off infection.
But it’s not just the dog’s weight that begins to change. Their coat can lose its shine, their skin becomes less elastic and their hearing and sight can begin to deteriorate. As their senses begin to deteriorate, dog’s can become more anxious and panicked by fast movements.
Their sleep patterns will also change as older dogs start to get more restless in the evenings.
How To Check Your Dog’s Weight
It is good to check your dog’s weight every one or two months. If your dog’s weight is steadily rising after they are fully grown, they will need a reduction in their food intake.
Weight loss may be an early sign of illness so in that instance, contact your vet as soon as possible.
The best way to tell if your pet is gaining weight is to simply look. Ask yourself these questions?
- Can you see an hourglass figure when you look at them from above?
- Can you feel their ribs when pressing lightly on them?
If you can’t, then your dog needs a reduction in their calorie intake.
Do Senior Dogs Need A Different Diet?
Due to their changing bodies, a dog’s dietary requirements change when they get older.
It is better to feed them high protein senior food which is lower in calories to reduce the probable weight gain.
Our Senior Dog Food
Feeding older dogs can be difficult. Betty & Butch dry dog food for senior dogs is tailored to put your mind at ease.
Our Golden Years dog food is specially made with senior dogs in mind. As it is turkey with sweet potato & cranberry, it is completely grain-free (suited for sensitive stomachs) and is a low-fat source of protein.
Adding our cold pressed salmon oil is also recommended as the many health benefits of salmon oil are impressive. A small amount each day on top of your dog’s food can improve cognitive function, boost the immune system, help combat kidney and heart disease, and it is even suggested to prevent cachexia which is often seen in dogs with cancer.
Just be sure to adjust your dogs diet for the extra calories that the salmon oil contains.
How old is your dog? Do you feed them a special diet? Let us know in the comments.