What and How Much Should I Feed My Senior Dog?
One of the most important changes you will make in caring for your older dog is in his diet. Look around for a good, premium senior dog food. Try to find a brand whose main ingredients are meat and one source of carbohydrates, such as rice. Corn-based foods can irritate the stomachs of elderly dogs, they can develop diarrhea and obnoxious gas. Likewise, as they age many dogs develop an intolerance for wheat products which can result in gas and bloating. These ingredients can cause discomfort for your dog as well as you.
Dog foods for elderly dogs should incorporate fewer calories per serving than the commonplace adult or puppy varieties. This compensates for the lowered activity levels of senior dogs. While they may have been able to run and jump like athletes in their peak, many older dogs need more rest and get much less exercise as they age.
Watch Your Senior Dogs’ Weight Carefully!
It is extremely important that you keep track of your senior dog’s weight. Extra fat puts a painful amount of stress on those old joints and bones. If you look at your dog from above , your elderly dog’s waist should tuck in behind his ribcage, making his waist and hip area a great deal more trim than his rib area.
From the side , you should be able to see a hint of rib when he is moving, but no ribs when he is standing still. Not only is a slender older dog healthier, but his joints cause him less discomfort and his quality of life will vastly increase.