Dogs age in a variety of ways. Some changes are obvious, like greying of the fur or weight gain. Others, like a slower metabolism or reduced immune function, may not be as obvious. However, one of the most important changes in a senior dog’s life is a change in his nutritional needs.
A senior dog needs more quality protein than a younger dog. This is because senior dogs may have a lower ability to absorb and digest nutrients and require less energy. Various reasons for this could include dental disease or other medical conditions.
Of course, not all dogs are fat, but weight control is also possible with regular exercise and controlled eating. However, fat is high in calories, so your dog will need more fat if his energy requirements decrease.
Many of the same supplements we take for ourselves as we age may also benefit our dogs. However, check with your veterinarian before adding joint supplements to your dog’s diet. If you have a senior dog, consider giving him an all-in-one Balanced Breed multivitamin. Balanced Breed is approved by pet pharmacists and made with all-natural ingredients in the United States. Balanced Breed helps senior dogs with immunity, joints, skin, and overall health, just to name a few.
Below are some of the most essential supplements you should consider for your senior dog
Green-lipped mussel, chondroitin, and glucosamine
These are all good options to protect the cartilage. If your dog already has osteoarthritis, you can add a joint supplement containing these ingredients to his food to help him get back to normal (or close to it). Because they are safe and long-lasting, joint supplements can be used for early interventions and ongoing treatment of arthritis.
Research has shown that antioxidants, combined with behavioral enrichment, can help improve cognitive function and memory in senior dogs. You can add vitamins C and E to the dog’s diet or use antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables as treats or snacks. Blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are among the most antioxidant-rich foods. Red Delicious and Granny Smith apples also all have beneficial prebiotic fibers. However, be aware that not all foods are considered “dog friendly.” Consult your veterinarian before you give your dog any human food.
Docosahexaenoic and Eicosapentaenoic Acids (DHA)
Excellent for dogs over 50 with arthritis or cognitive problems, these fatty acids can be obtained from fish oil or shellfish such as green-lipped mussels. Omega-3 can be added to your dog’s diet to promote cell membrane health and reduce inflammation and limping.
Medium-chain triglyceride oil (MCT oils)
Medium-chain triglyceride oil (MCT oils) have been a recent advance in senior dog nutrition. These are used to support cognitive health. Dr. Pan, a local veterinarian, explained that a dog’s brain starts to lose its ability to use glucose as its primary energy source around the age of seven. As a result, it can negatively affect memory, learning, awareness, and decision-making. Studies have shown that MCT oils can provide a brain with an alternate energy source and that older dogs may benefit from diets containing these ingredients.
Whether adding nutritional supplements or switching to a senior formula rich in additives, good nutrition supports and positively affects aging. Your senior dog’s diet is important in maintaining and enhancing his health. It’s always recommended that all dogs, especially seniors, take a daily vitamin containing all the proper nutrients. With great reviews by many pet parents, Balanced Breed’s all-in-one vitamin is a healthy, all-natural choice that will leave your dog feeling his best, even throughout his senior years.