Nothing beats a good, old dog. The relationship between canine senior citizens and their owners is exceptionally deep and multifaceted. Good nutrition can help keep this relationship going strong for as long as possible.
Definitive guidelines regarding what constitutes the best diet for older dogs do not exist. Owners and veterinarians need to work as a team to assess every dog’s individual nutritional needs and make appropriate dietary choices.
The first step is to screen the dog for disease. Nutritional management plays a role in the treatment of many illnesses that are commonly diagnosed in older dogs (e.g., chronic kidney disease, diabetes mellitus, some types of cancer, and heart disease). If a dog has a nutritionally responsive disease, he or she should eat whatever diet is recommended for dogs with that condition. Considerations based on age take a back seat in these cases.
Owners have a lot more leeway when feeding healthy, older dogs. Senior dog foods occupy a lot of shelf space in stores, but they can be quite different from one another. Picking the right product is very important. For example, most senior dog foods are somewhat lower in fat than are traditional, adult foods. Because most older dogs require fewer calories than they once did, reducing the fat content of their diet can help prevent obesity. A lower fat food is perfectly appropriate if your older dog does, in fact, have a tendency to gain weight. On the other hand, if you have a skinny old dog who struggles to maintain his weight, a low fat dog food will make the problem worse rather than better.