When is the right time for a senior dog food diet?

The purpose of a senior dog food diet is to prolong both the quality of life and the life span of your dog.

Life span differs by size and breed. On average small dogs live about 14 years and larger dog breeds about 10 years. Based on these numbers you should consider a small dog to be a senior when he's 7 years old and as early as 5 years for large dogs.

That soon?

Senior with a senior dog Aging healthy together with the right care

Well, time flies when you're having fun but this senior label is not to say you're dog is old and should not be running and playing.

Far from it, in fact. To remain healthy and happy your tailwagger should play and walk just like younger canines.

But… any dog is an individual and not all dogs age the same. When your dog is still very active your should not consider him to be senior. Putting your dog on a senior diet too soon, can affect his health condition negatively. So… use the same method as when you determine how much to feed your friend: use your eyes!

Remember this: Putting your dog on a senior diet too soon, can affect his health condition negatively. So feed with your eyes!

Signs your dog is aging

Look for these signs:

  • Your dog is getting less active.
  • Perhaps he's gained some weight over the years.
  • His coat is getting thinner.
  • His appetite decreases (as his activity decreases too).
  • His movements seem to get a bit rusty.
  • It gets harder to teach your dog new tricks.

Do you recognize (some of) these? Then please continue reading…

Dog food for aging pooches

What's the difference between senior dog food and a regular dog food?

A senior dog food has a slightly different composition as compared to a regular dog food. Some of the most common seen differences are:

Why feed a senior dog food diet?

This question can be answered by looking at the rational behind the adjustments in this kind of dog food (see list above). So let's go and see.

Less calories to avoid obesity

Less calories applies to the lowered activity as seen in most senior dogs. But perhaps yóur dog is only senior by age and still playing and running around like a grown-up puppy. Then this is not applicable in your situation. Otherwise, a dog that burns less calories should be fed less calories to avoid canine obesity.

Senior dog food has fewer calories, usually because it contains lesser fat. However, dogs need a sufficient amount of fatty acids, especially omega-3 and 6 fatty acids that reduce stiffness of the joints and reduce inflammatory diseases.

Fat is also an essential component in dog food because of fat solvable vitamins which should be present in any dog food. So less fat means that the remaining fat in the food should be of high quality to deliver all essential nutrients that are associated with fat.

Why improved digestibility?

When a food is very digestible it means your dog will produce less waste. However, when your senior dog has a low activity level his intestine motility is lowered as well, creating a higher risk of constipation.

So by adding more fibers to the diet of seniors, you stimulate intestine motility which is a good thing in these dogs (providing the quality of the food is still excellent).

Saving lives means Police Dogs deserve the best nutrition

These dogs are really working hard for us. Running, jumping, tail high. Chris a 10 1/2 year old Belgian Malinois is still on the job. At an age when most police dogs might be ready for retirement.

Probiotics for dogs

“Once we started to add Total-Zymes and Total-Biotics to our older dogs food, we immediate started to see a improvement in their over all health and power,” states Officer Mike McCarthy of the Santa Ana, California Police K-9 unit, “Normally you would see a service dog retired at 8 to 9 years but using these products has definitely extended Chris in active duty.”

Read more testimonials from dog owners for probiotics »

Why lower protein (but of higher quality)?

Often senior diets contain less proteins and the reason for this is probably because of the assumption that an older dog's kidneys won't function at 100% anymore. However, not every old dog is a kidney patient. Especially older dogs need proteins to repair cell damage. So high quality proteins are more important than just the amount of it.

Why lower minerals?

Some older canines have high blood pressure, but - again - not all of them.

Why more vitamins?

Vitamin supplements

Vitamin B complex has an important function in metabolism and nerve-regulation.

Dogs (as well as cats) can make their own vitamin C out of glucose, though adding extra vitamin C can be beneficial when demand is higher (in case of vitamin A and E shortage).

You can buy senior dog food conveniently online

Many different dog food brands sell senior dog food formulae. Below are just a few examples.


Wysong Senior Natural Dog Food 4 lb (new)

Main ingredients: turkey, potato and ground brown rice. It also has added probiotics, vitamins and other nutritious nutrients such as kelp and fish oil.

This diet is formulated in accordance with the AAFCO dog food nutrient profile for maintenance.

Blue Buffalo

Blue Buffalo - which can be ordered online via Amazon - manufactures dry dog food for senior dogs, small breed seniors and large breed seniors:

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Find the top 9 best dog food brands

Confidential Dog Food Report This ebook is part
of a package

The "Confidential Dog Food Report" is an e-book written by Andrew Lewis. Now for those of you who know him, you know that he doesn't think highly of commercial dog food. In fact he likes homemade dog food diets. But commercial dog food is not always bad of course.

You just need to find the best food for YOUR pet. Andrew has listed the top 9 dog food brands that are just better-than-good, which is a good starting place for you. After all homecooking can be nice on occasion, but commercial dog food is very convenient. Just find the right one!

Find out more about this list of ultra-healthy top dog food brands »

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