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How to feed an older dog
As your dog gets older, you may start to notice some changes in its body. It may suffer from a little arthritis, or perhaps its metabolism is slowing down and it is starting to put on some extra weight. How and what you feed an older dog is vital to how much it is able to enjoy its golden years.
Because older dogs have changes in metabolism and intestinal function, they are sometimes less able to digest and absorb nutrients from their food. This means you should buy specially formulated senior pet food to make sure the dog is able to get levels of protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals to keep it feeling its best. Try an option like Whole Earth Farms Senior Dog Dry Food, which has antioxidants and digestive enzymes added to the meaty ingredients. Another good type to try is Candidae Platinum Seniors & Overweight Dog Dry Food. This kibble has omega-3 and omega-6 for optimal skin, coat and joint health, plus chondroitin and glucosamine for dogs to promote healthy joint cartilage.
Some things you may notice about senior dog foods is that they contain added ingredients for digestive issues, as decreased appetite and constipation are common in these pooches. If your dog is having digestive issues, look for food with lots of fiber and added enzymes, and make sure it is drinking plenty of water from pet products like Durapet Dish & Bowls.
Mobility issues are also common in older dogs, which is why many foods contain fatty acids and other ingredients to promote healthy joints. If your dog's food does not have these ingredients, consider adding a supplement to its diet. Dasuquin with MSM for Dogs has all kinds of natural ingredients that help your dog stay active longer, despite arthritis. You can help your arthritic dog get around the house with items like dog steps or pet ramps. Steps may be handy for climbing on and off the couch or bed, while ramps can help with steps throughout your home.
You should also make sure your dog is getting the right vitamins and minerals to keep its immune system functioning. Just as in people, the immune system of your canine is going to wear down over time and become less strong, making the dog more prone to bladder or kidney infections, upper respiratory infections, pneumonia, cancer and other conditions. Give it the boost it needs with antioxidants like vitamins C and E. Supplements like VitaChews are a good source of these nutrients.