Pet Wellness FAQ: Promoting A Healthy Diet For Senior Pets
Keep your pet healthy and happy throughout their senior years.
In the last decade, thanks in part to the many different advances in veterinary medicine and overall improved nutrition, many dogs and cats are beginning to live much longer, healthier lives. However, despite all of the beneficial nutrients available to pets in this day and age, the inevitable passage of time means that many pets will begin to experience gradual changes to their lifestyle that is very similar to that of aging humans. For instance, many dogs and cats will begin to have decreased energy levels or attention spans as they get older.
As your pet ages, their nutritional needs may also begin to change. For instance, while they be consuming less food, you might find that your furry friend seems to still be putting on a lot of weight. This could be due to a slowdown in their metabolism or even a decrease in daily activities.
These signs of aging may begin to manifest themselves as early as 6-8 years in large dog breeds, such as Great Danes or German Shepherds, while small breeds such as Yorkies or Poodles may remain youthful until 12 years, or perhaps even longer.
While these are all natural occurrences that show up as your pet begins to move into the senior phase of their life, it is still important that you do what you can as a pet owner to keep your animal as healthy, active and comfortable as possible. To help your furry friend make a strong, healthy transition into their golden years, we are answering some of your most frequently asked question about a healthy diet for senior pets. Keeping track of your pets overall wellness and offering them a healthy diet can help to ensure that your loyal friend has happy and healthy older years.
Q: Do I need to switch from adult to senior pet food?
A: In general, most veterinarians suggest that if your pet is active and in good shape, they may be able to be fed the adult formulas rather than the senior food that is suggested for their age range. (Veterinarians generally consider a dog a “senior” when they are in the last third of their normal life expectancy.”) However, if you are still unsure, a routine vet exam and blood test can help to determine which type of diet is best for your older dog.
Q: Should I consider an alternative type of food for my senior pet?
A: Many veterinarians agree that some older pets benefit greatly from supplements or meal replacements. This is because many aging pets have special nutritional needs that cannot be met from your average dog or cat food, and some of these essentials nutrients can be supplied through alternative food sources.
One of the best products currently on the market for aging pets is DogSure and CatSure. These popular food supplements are made especially for pets in their golden years, and they are made up of high-quality protein and amino acids adjusted for better lifestyle and movement from your pets. Plus, they contain healthy levels of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and flaxseed oil―nutrients that will help keep your senior animal healthy through the years.
Q: What if my pet stops eating normally?
A: If your pet is starting to get thin and they are not eating their normal amount of food, they should have a complete veterinary exam just to rule out any possible disease problems. However, more likely than not, you simply need to take extra steps to modify your pet’s diet and encourage them to eat more. For instance, some pets have a hard time chewing up large bits of kibble. Try feeding them smaller amounts or moisten the food with water in order to make it easier to chew.
Also, certain pet food products such as CatSure and DogSure are made from milk proteins (with no lactose) and are packed full of delicious vanilla flavor to encourage voluntary consumption in older pets. For more information about the benefits of these nutrition supplements for aging dogs and cats, be sure to contact PetAg today.