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Best Dog Food for Senior Dogs

If you have a senior dog, you want to ensure that you feed them the best possible food. However, choosing the right food for your older dog can be challenging as they may have health conditions that need to be considered. Our vets in Jackson have put together a guide to senior dog food options that will keep your furry friend happy and healthy in their golden years.

When Dogs Are Considered Seniors

The age at which a dog is considered a senior or geriatric varies depending on its breed and size. Generally, small dogs live longer than larger dogs. Small dogs have an average life expectancy of 15-20 years, while larger dogs usually live between 12-15 years.

Due to the fact that bigger dogs age more quickly, they are considered to be "older" around the time they turn 6 years old. On the other hand, small dogs generally enter middle age at around 8 years of age.

Nutritional Needs of Senior Dogs

As your dog ages, its nutritional needs change. To keep your senior dog healthy, it is important to consider its diet. Many foods for senior dogs are designed to address age-related health issues. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing the best food for your senior dog:

Firstly, you need to be aware of your dog's caloric intake. Like humans, a dog's metabolism slows down as they age, making weight gain easier. Therefore, ensuring your senior dog receives the right amount of nutrients and protein without consuming too many calories is essential.

Secondly, it's important to ensure that your dog's diet includes high-fiber options. Constipation can be painful and lead to gastrointestinal issues if it becomes severe. Maintaining gastrointestinal health is a common challenge for older dogs, so the best food for senior dogs will contain a lot of fiber to help them stay healthy and regular.

How Nutrition Can Benefit Your Dog

If your senior dog is experiencing health issues, your veterinarian may prescribe a specialized diet to help them. There are different types of foods tailored to address a range of health issues such as kidney and liver health, urinary tract, digestive, and joint conditions. 

Even if your older dog has no specific health conditions, it is recommended that you switch them to dog food designed for senior dogs. This will help maintain their overall well-being.

To determine the best option for your dog, it is recommended that you talk to your veterinarian.

Best Senior Dog Foods

Only your vet can provide an informed answer as to which food is best for your senior dog, but below are a few dog foods and supplements from reputable brands that you may want to try for your senior dog. Check with your vet to see if the foods below are available directly from their office. 

Small Dogs

Hill's® Science Diet® Dog Senior 11+ Adult Small Paws™

Hill's® Science Diet® Dog Senior 11+ Adult Small Paws™ Dry dog food provides precisely balanced, easy-to-digest nutrition tailored to older small & toy breed dogs. 

Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition SMALL Indoor Senior Dry for Dogs

Royal Canin Small Indoor Senior, dry dog food, is designed to support the healthy aging of small dogs with a quiet, indoor lifestyle. It contains optimal levels of EPA, DHA, and a complex of antioxidants for optimal health.

Large Dogs

Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition LARGE 8+ Dry for Dogs

Canine Large Aging 8+ dry dog food (formerly Maxi Aging 8+) is formulated to support your senior dog's vitality. It contains an exclusive complex of antioxidants that promotes cellular health and helps reduce the signs of aging.

Dogs With Food Intolerances 

BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet™ Dog HF Hydrolyzed for Food Intolerance Dry

BLUE HF Hydrolyzed for Food Intolerance is specially formulated for dogs with food sensitivities, helping to reduce the chance of adverse reactions to common proteins.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets.

Want to be certain that your senior dog is getting the nutrition they need? Contact our Jackson vets to book an examination for your senior pet.

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North Madison Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of all companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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