As your four-legged friend reaches his golden years, you may put his health and nutrition as a priority. Understandably, you want to preserve the quality of life of your senior dog. Diet can drastically improve your dog’s health. Many pet owners consider raw dog food a great addition to your furry friend’s meal plan, but is it a good idea for older dogs?
This list consists of everything you need to know to ensure your senior dog enjoys his wonderful golden years.
- Difference Between Senior Dog Food and Regular Dog Food
Before incorporating Raw Dog Food into your senior dog’s diet, you should know the difference between senior dog food and regular dog food. There are three ingredients in senior dog food that are not present in regular adult dog food. These ingredients include pea fiber, glucosamine hydrochloride, and flaxseed. They help improve your dog’s digestive system and give support to their joints, all while reducing any inflammation.
You should note that this doesn’t mean that all dog food for senior dogs will agree with your senior dog. Take your time looking for the best product for your little friend by monitoring what he enjoys.
- Nutritional Requirements for Your Senior Dog
The nutritional requirements for your senior dog can be similar to those for a puppy. It would be best to prioritize both stages of a dog’s life. The diet for both life stages supports their critical systems and physical health. This includes their muscle functions, mental development, and organ function.
Each dog is different so pay close attention to how your dog eats. You can also work with your vet to narrow down exactly what your dog needs in his diet. You’ll be able to identify their protein, nutritional and calorie requirements down to a science.
- Dog Food and Brain Assistance
A healthy brain function can assist all the biological systems in your dog’s body. As your dog grows older, it may experience a deterioration of some of its cognitive functions. A natural raw diet can give your dog the energy it needs and provide nutrients for all your dogs’ organs and systems, including the brain.
Your dog also requires fatty acids, namely EPA and DHA, which are omega fatty acids that can assist the dog’s cognitive function. EPA stands for Eicosatetraenoic acid, while DHA stands for Docosahexaenoic acid, and they are very important elements to your dog’s food.
- Dog Food Protein Restrictions
Some pet owners believe that there should be some protein restrictions once your dog becomes a senior. They believe that a reduction in protein can help with kidney health and help prevent kidney disease in the future. However, this is not the case. The importance lies with the quality of the protein. You can provide your dog with natural, raw, fresh, and minimally processed protein. Also, be sure to avoid heavily rendered food products that can consist of heavy carbohydrates.
Create a feeding schedule for your senior dog and include routine exercise to promote a healthy lifestyle.
- Raw Dog Food for Senior Dogs
Raw foods are the least processed and are in their most natural format. It’s the best type of food for dogs during all stages of their life. However, some dogs do not agree with a raw diet because of implications such as organ function issues. Sometimes your dog may not like eating raw food so ease them into it. Raw food is more balanced and can be very beneficial for your dog.
Make sure you make a great feeding plan for your dog when you start feeding him raw foods. This is because some raw dog food can be very calorie, which can make your dog gain weight. Standard feeding guidelines should be based on your dog’s weight and how active they are. You can also feed your dog some raw bones that he will enjoy.
What your senior dog eats can have a great impact on their health. Take note of your dog’s eating patterns when putting your feeding guideline together. Feeding guidelines help ensure that your dog has enough time to digest food properly. Make sure you also play with your dog now and then so that he remains active.
Raw Dog food is a great addition to your dog’s meal plan. It’s the least processed food and provides your dog with much-needed protein and nutrients. When in doubt, revisit the tips mentioned above. It’s also a good idea to formulate your dog’s diet with your trusted veterinarian.