How should older dogs be fed?
The diet of older dogs differs from that of young or adult dogs. As they age, their energy levels decrease and they need to be fed in a way that suits their body’s changing needs.
Here are some factors to consider when feeding older dogs:
Protein: It’s important for older dogs to get enough protein to maintain muscle mass. But excessive protein intake can also damage your kidneys. For this reason, older dogs should have a moderate level of protein in their diet.
Oil: Because older dogs have a reduced caloric requirement, they should also be low in fat. In addition, special oils containing healthy fats can support joint health.
Carbohydrate: Older dogs have a lower need for carbohydrates, so it’s important to have them in small amounts in their diet. However, high-fiber carbohydrates can be used in dogs with digestive issues.
Vitamins and minerals: Older dogs can have weakened immune systems, so it’s important to have enough vitamins and minerals in their diet.
This: It should be ensured that they always have access to fresh water, as older dogs are more prone to dehydration.
Eat with Fewer Calories
Aging dogs should be fed less caloric foods because they need less energy. However, you must provide enough calories for your dog’s body to get all the nutrients it needs. For this reason, you should prepare a diet program that includes a certain amount of calories according to your dog’s weight, age and activity level. For this, regular veterinary control is very important. Because your veterinarian will advise you on the best diet. He will recommend the best dog food, treats and explain the amount of vegetables or fruits your dog can eat and how they are prepared.
High Quality Protein and Fat Containing Foods Should Be Preferred
Aging dogs need more protein and fat because the risk of loss of muscle mass increases. Therefore, it is important that the food contains high-quality protein and fat. However, it is also important to have a balanced fat content, because excessive fat consumption can lead to obesity problems. In general, older dogs’ diets should contain 25-30% protein and 10-15% fat.
Special Needs Should Not Be Forgotten
As aging dogs may have special health problems, it is important to prepare a nutrition plan tailored to their needs. Some dogs may struggle with diabetes, kidney problems, heart conditions or other chronic diseases. Therefore, in consultation with your veterinarian, you need to prepare a nutrition program suitable for your dog’s specific needs.
Eat More Often and Smaller Portions
Older dogs need to eat more often. However, to get fewer calories, it is better to feed in smaller portions. Thus, your dog will be happier and healthier when he eats more frequently and at regular intervals. It will also reduce the pressure on the digestive system and prevent stomach ailments.
As a result, proper nutrition is very important for aging dogs. The best senior dog foods with fewer calories, high-quality protein and fat, tailoring a special-needs diet, and feeding more frequent and smaller portions are the keys to healthy aging. In consultation with a veterinarian, you can determine the right feeding plan based on your dog’s needs.
Things to pay attention
Proper nutrition is important for senior dogs to lead a healthy and happy life. Here are some factors to consider when feeding older dogs:
- Weight control should be done: Weight control is important, as older dogs often have less energy. Overweight dogs are more prone to joint problems, heart disease, and other health problems. For this reason, it is necessary to give an appropriate amount of food and encourage physical activity in accordance with the exercise program.
- Bad breath should be controlled: Oral problems such as gum disease and tooth decay can be common in older dogs. This can cause bad breath and affect eating habits. Therefore, it is important to maintain oral health by using regular veterinary check-ups, dental cleaning and special dental care products.
- Food selection should be made according to the breed: Different breeds have different nutritional needs, and older dogs’ needs can vary as well. Your veterinarian is the best resource for understanding your dog’s needs and assisting in the selection of the appropriate food.
- Food content should be given importance: In the diet of older dogs, important nutrients such as protein, fat and fiber should be provided in a balanced way. In addition, vitamins and minerals must be present in sufficient quantities. The content of ready-made foods should be examined and those made from natural and quality materials should be preferred. Also remember that you should always talk to your veterinarian before giving your dog any additional supplements or medications.
- Regular visits to the vet should be: Regular veterinary check-ups are extremely important for senior dogs to lead a healthy life. Older dogs often have more health problems and may therefore require more frequent veterinary checkups.
Veterinary checkups allow you to learn about your dog’s health and help you prevent potential health problems with early detection and treatment. Your vet can advise you on your dog’s dental health, weight control, nutritional needs and activity level.
Veterinary checkups are also required for health care procedures such as administering necessary vaccinations, administering anti-parasitic treatments, and performing routine blood tests. For the best protection of your senior dog’s health, it is recommended to have regular veterinary check-ups to monitor his general health and intervene in a timely manner.