Nutritional Needs of Older Dogs

February 10, 2011

As dogs age, their nutritional needs change. They are less active, which affects their caloric needs, as well as their digestive systems. It is important to find a dog food that addresses these changes.

Obesity puts a tremendous strain on a dog’s heart, so make sure he eats a diet that keeps his weight within normal range.

Choose a high-quality pet food. Your dog will consume more nutrients in a smaller amount of food than from a cheap food. That food should be lower in calories and higher in fiber, since older dogs often struggle with constipation issues.

While many older dogs display a tendency to gain weight, there are some that lose interest in food. You will need to add healthy goodies to his food to tempt him to eat. Some people moisten the kibble with gravy, while others add a small amount of canned dog food or even chopped chicken or vegetables to the kibble.

Whatever changes you plan to make in your dog’s diet, be sure to include your veterinarian in your decisions. He will know exactly what vitamins and minerals your dog really needs to stay healthy and can advise you how best to deal with any eating issues that may arise.

The Seniors for Pets website offers food purchasing guides with a great deal more information to help you make sure your pet is receiving the best possible nutrition.  Check out “Feeding Fluffy” and “Feeding Fido.”

Visit for more information on how diet affects dogs.

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