Dogs' nutritional needs change over the course of their lives. In addition to the changed nutritional requirements, other feeding challenges can arise. Our tips show you what to look out for when feeding senior dogs.
WHEN IS A DOG OLD?
Dogs don't get old overnight. Getting older is a slow process, the beginning of which depends on the race and the individual constitution. Very large dogs are seniors at the age of six, while medium and small dogs are seniors at seven. This can be externally recognizable through a lower play instinct and urge to move as well as initial difficulties in the course of movement. Inflamed joints may be painful, which is why the desire to exercise decreases. Often, the color of the dog's fur also changes.
NUTRITION TIPS FOR OLDER DOGS
Due to their advanced age, changes in eating behavior may be noticed in older dogs. With our tips we would like to help you to support older dogs with their food intake:
• Avoid Large Servings An old dog's digestion is slower. It therefore makes sense to divide the daily feed ration into three to four smaller meals. Chop up food if your dog has dental problems, you should break up wet food into smaller pieces. This makes feeding easier.
• Problems with dry food The dog smells worse as it ages. As a result, the feed intake of dry feed can decrease with age. It may be enough to mix the food with warm water. Otherwise, we recommend switching to wet food.
• Old dogs don't drink enough Older dogs often drink too little , which can have negative consequences for their health. The danger is especially with dry food, which is why wet food is preferable.
• Less bones Even if your dog is a bone fanatic, the bone feeding should be reduced as the dog gets older, as the bowel works more slowly and this increases the risk of constipation.
• Warming up the food If dogs suffer from loss of appetite, this may be due to decreased sensory perception. See how the dog reacts to heated wet food. As a result, it smells more intense, which often tempts you to eat.
FEEDING OLD DOGS
If older dogs have nutritional problems, it is a good time to see a veterinarian. He can clarify whether there is a disease and therefore a change of feed is recommended. Maybe he advises you to a special prescription diets or you suggest switching from one food for adult dogs on a senior dog food .
This is based on the changed nutritional needs of an old dog. On the one hand, this concerns the often reduced energy requirement due to less activity. On the other hand, the vitamin and mineral composition is adapted to provide the senior dog with the nutrients that are essential for him.