As a dog ages, metabolism slows, the risk of illness increases, and his nutritional requirements change. This section is all about the nutritional needs of senior dogs (whether in perfect health, or not), and how to best satisfy those needs.
If you’re like me, you have found this whole issue more than confusing. Choosing a food is a lot more than choosing a brand. What type would you like to feed your dog? By “type” I mean – dry, canned, organic, freeze dried, home cooked, raw, grain free, prescription diet… Whenever I read about why I must buy X brand or X type, the next article will convince me why it’s the worst decision I can make.
To make it even more confusing, many vets aren’t as well versed in the area of nutrition as you would think. Pet food companies host a lot of the nutrition training their staff attend, and that’s why their practice stocks those brands. Read about some of the food and you’ll be surprised at how many “experts” encourage you to stay away from them.
Sorry, I hope I’m not making this sound hopeless because it isn’t.
I recommend you do some research. Read about the various types before you worry about the brands. You’ll read lots of conflicting views but look at the source as well as the information, and make decisions based on what seems right for you. I assume you have a trusted vet to discuss this with, and if you’re interested in a more natural take on things, it doesn’t hurt to schedule an appointment with a holistic vet. You will likely be offered a free consultation, to learn more about their philosophy, and their attitude towards nutrition.
I’ve had my issues with finding the “right” food for my senior dog Red. When I first adopted her she was obese, so was on a weight loss than a maintenance formula. When she developed a heart problem she was put on a prescription heart diet, and when she developed kidney problems that was replaced by a kidney diet.
For a long time I had wanted to take her to a holistic vet, and recently finally had the chance. He was not happy with the prescription diet (and yes many people feel they are of poor quality, while others, my vets included, believe they have helped her condition), and created a home made, whole foods recipe specifically for her. She’s loving it and that’s what we’re sticking with.
Please remember – older pets are more prone to dehydration, so please make sure a big bowl of fresh water is available at all times.