Senior Dog Nutrition

All dogs age – it’s a fact of life. As your dog approaches the last years of his life, there will be some changes in his habits, his health and his nutritional needs. With a little preparation, you can easily accommodate these changes and keep your dog active and healthy.

One of the best ways to keep your dog healthy when he’s old is to start when he’s young. Good nutrition and regular exercise can help him maintain a proper weight, which is beneficial throughout his life, but especially when he’s older. A daily vitamin and mineral supplement helps ensure your pet is getting all his necessary nutrients to stay healthy. Some dogs, particularly larger dogs, are predisposed to joint problems. A joint supplement designed for younger dogs can help slow the progression of degenerative joint disease to keep these dogs active longer.

As your dog approaches his senior years, more and more health problems will start to arise. Like before, his nutrition will play a large role in his health and comfort.
  • Metabolism: Your dog’s energy requirements will decrease by about 20%, so they won’t need as many calories each day. Obesity is a common problem in older dogs, but weight management is important for their quality of life. The extra weight makes mobility difficult, plus it adds extra stress on their aching joints.
  • Arthritis & Joint Care: Most dogs will experience some degree of joint problems in their life, whether it’s hardly noticeable or nearly debilitating. Supplements that contain glucosamine and chondroitin can help support joints and prevent cartilage degeneration.
  • Skin & Coat: Just like humans, your dog’s hair will get thinner, duller and start to turn gray. A skin and coat supplement, such as a fatty acid supplement can help restore the quality and shine of a healthy coat.
  • Kidney Function: If your dog has decreased kidney function, choose foods with less phosphorus to slow the progression of kidney disease. Supplements such as Azodyl or Epakitin also help slow down kidney damage and support normal renal function.
  • Digestion & Gastrointestinal: Products with fiber help reduce the incidence of constipation, and they also help your dog’s aging gastrointestinal system with digestion. You should also make sure your dog has access to plenty of water.
There are more health problems that your dog may encounter, which may have more specific nutritional requirements. Regular veterinary checkups are necessary to monitor your pet’s health and control disease. Your veterinarian can also give you recommendations for your pet’s individual conditions and needs, making sure they have proper nutrition throughout the last portion of their life.

The materials, information and answers provided through this website are not intended to replace the medical advice or services of a qualified veterinarian or other pet health care professional. Consult your own veterinarian for answers to specific medical questions, including diagnosis, treatment, therapy or medical attention.

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