What Diet Should You Feed Your Aging Dog?

Just like humans, dogs have different nutritional needs at every stage of life. When your dog enters his or her senior years, it is time to have a conversation with your veterinarian about your pup’s current food and what changes you should consider. These tips will also help you pick the right diet for your aging dog.

Consider Cutting Calories

Older dogs tend to be less active, which means they are also prone to weight gain. Same as with people. You can reduce the risk of obesity in your older pet by cutting his or her calories, under the guidance of your veterinarian. Some dog foods are specifically designed for seniors to provide an adequate amount of protein and carbohydrates with fewer calories, though some families prefer to just cut back on servings of their dogs’ current foods. Talk to your vet about the right way to cut calories without leaving your dog feeling hungry.

Add Fruits and Veggies

Constipation can be a problem in older dogs, so adding fruits and vegetables to your dog’s diet can help. Keep in mind that not all fruits and veggies are appropriate for dogs, so talk to the staff at your veterinary clinic to get healthy recommendations. You can add fruits and veggies to your pet’s normal meals or offer them as treats between feedings.

Adjust for Health Needs

If your veterinarian has diagnosed your dog with a health problem, such as diabetes or heart disease, you may need to make changes to his or her diet as part of the overall treatment plan. For dogs with joint problems, nutritional supplements can also help to reduce inflammation. If your older dog has dental health problems, switching to wet food from dry kibble can make chewing easier.

Diet can play a central role in preserving your dog’s health well into his or her senior years, and Chastain Veterinary Medical Group is here to help. We provide dog dental care, extensive preventive care, and emergency vet services to ensure that your pet always has access to the medical treatments he or she needs. To make an appointment at our veterinary hospitals in the north Dallas areas, please call (972) 239-1309 for Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas or call (972) 529-5033 for Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney.

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