Dogs’ nutritional needs evolve over their lifetime. In the UK there is an increasing population of older pooches thanks to improved veterinary care, safer living conditions and good diets. As dogs become older, their nutritional needs change.
In order to give your pooch the best diet for this advanced stage in their lives, it is important to take into consideration the whole health of your dog.
Many dogs in the last quarter of the expected lifespan may start to develop age-related illnesses. Heart disease, diabetes, and osteoarthritis are not uncommon for our older four-legged friends. If your dog lives with these conditions, an adjusted diet will be necessary. It is helpful to create a nutrient profile for your pooch to make sure that they are eating the right combination of protein, fats, vitamins and carbohydrates.
Older dogs will be less mobile so will require fewer calories as part of their daily meals, so cut down on calorie intake to avoid your pet putting on too much weight, which causes additional strain on their body. Older dogs often need more protein as part of their calorie intake. This helps them to maintain muscle mass. Protein from meats and fish are easier for them to digest than proteins from vegetables.
Give your pet the time to eat. They may prefer smaller meal throughout the day rather than one or two big ones. These are easier to digest and likely to more appetising for an older dog.
If you want to learn more about how to optimise your pooch’s diet across their life course, why not download our Canine Nutrition Diploma Course?