Should older dogs be fed more often? Get Your Pet Thinking

How do I ensure proper hydration?

Water is the single most important nutrient for dogs of any age. Senior dogs, however, are medically more prone to dehydration, so access to fresh, clean water is critical.

Make sure your dog has regular access to water and monitor the amount of water left in the bowl to see if there is any reduction in their water intake. Canned food can increase water intake as can adding ice cubes to your dog’s water bowl.

What ingredients and benefits should I look for?

To support these changes in your companion, senior dog food recipes often contain more moderate levels of fat to help manage a healthy weight during a less active life stage. When checking ingredients, also keep an eye out for ingredients like Glucosamine and Chondroitin, which can help support hip and joint health.

High-fiber ingredients are also key for senior dog diets. Dietary fiber helps keep your companion regular by supporting the digestive system, while also strengthening the immune function in their belly. Fiber is also a ‘bulky’ ingredient in food, meaning it can help them feel fuller for longer. Typical high-fiber ingredients in senior dog recipes include peas, apples, potatoes, and carrots, along with oats, barley, nuts, and wheat flour.

Should older dogs be fed more often?

What do I need to know about switching to a senior dog ration?

Most senior dog diets are formulated with appropriate nutrient limits and are less calorie-dense (fewer calories per cup/can) than rations for puppies and young adults; however, there are currently no established specific nutrient requirements. This means that the amounts of nutrients found in different foods can vary widely. Your best resource for choosing a diet for your senior dog is your veterinarian. Your veterinarian will recommend a specific diet based on your dog’s specific needs.

The key principles for feeding a senior dog are to:

  • control calorie intake and avoid nutrient excesses,
  • ensure proper hydration, and
  • provide an ideal mix of fat, protein, phosphorus, and sodium.
  • How Many Times a Day Should DOGS EAT? – Puppies and Adults