Every pet owner wants to prolong his or her pet’s lifespan as much as possible. If you are concerned about your aging dog’s health, your concerns are valid. Senior or older dogs have special nutritional and overall health needs. Senior dogs tend to gain weight fast. You may notice that your dog is not as playful as before. How can you prolong your dog’s lifespan? The most important thing is to take care of your dog’s nutritional needs. Here are some tips that will help you feed your senior dog right.
1. Get the Right Diet for Your Dog’s Age
The nutritional requirements change as your dog grows older. Your dog’s weight should guide you in choosing the right diet combination. If your dog is gaining weight fast and is less active, you need a low-calorie diet. Some senior dogs lose weight instead of gaining. You need a high-calorie diet for such a dog. If your dog has feeding problems, prepare meals that are more palatable. However, the diet must remain balanced to ensure that your dog gets all the necessary nutrients.
2. Regulate the Protein Intake
A healthy meal for your dog should contain proteins. However, veterinarians recommend that you reduce the protein content in the food as the dog ages. You can increase the fruits and vegetables as you reduce proteins. If you are unsure about the protein content in packed dog food, consider switching to home-cooked food. You will spend more time preparing food but the effort may prolong your dog’s life.
3. Supplement the Diet
Keeping tracking of the nutritional content of your dog’s food every day may be difficult. Adding supplements to the food assures you that your dog gets all nutrients. For instance, your senior dog requires digestive enzymes to aid the digestive system. Your dog food may contain the enzymes but you lose them whenever you heat the food. You have to give raw food to preserve the enzymes or supplement the diet. If you have not tried any supplements before, it’s better to go for organic options such as Wapiti elk velvet supplements. Choosing the right supplements will boost your dog’s immune system and mobility.
4. Increase Antioxidants
Senior dogs require antioxidants to slow down the aging process. Oxidation damages your dog’s cells and organs. The antioxidants in your dog’s diet prevent damage to the cells. Feed your dogs with organic fruits and vegetables to increase the supply of healthy antioxidants. Free-range eggs are also a good source of antioxidants.
5. Talk to your Vet
Take your dog to the veterinarian for health check-ups consistently. Your vet can easily identify and treat any health issues that will affect your dog’s lifespan. Your vet will advise if your dog’s weight is healthy for his age. You can also ask your vet for advice on the right diet for your dog.
Older dogs have special health and nutritional needs. You can keep your senior dog healthy and strong by feeding him the right diet. Older dogs require less protein and more antioxidants. If your dog is still active and gaining weight, consider a low-calorie diet. Increase the intake of healthy fruits and vegetables to boost your dog’s immune system. In addition, supplement your dog’s diet occasionally to ensure that it meets the dog’s nutritional needs. Your vet can advise you on the right diet for your dog depending on your dog’s health status, age, and feeding habits.