When is a dog considered "old"?
Ageing in dogs is a slow process, the beginning of which depends on the breed and the individual constitution. Very large dogs are already regarded as seniors at the age of six, while medium-sized and small dogs count as seniors when they are seven.
What food is suitable for older dogs?
Nutrition tips for older dogs
Due to their advanced age, changes in eating behaviour may be noticed in older dogs. With these tips, we would like to help you provide support for your older dog when eating:
- Avoid large portionsHow often should a senior dog be fed? Older dogs have slower digestion. It is therefore advisable to spread the daily food ration over three to four smaller meals.
- Cut up the foodIf the dog has dental problems or has hardly any teeth left, you should cut wet food into smaller bites. This makes it easier for the dog to eat.
- Problems with dry dog foodA dog’s sense of smell decreases with age. This can lead to your pet eating less dry dog food when it is old. Mixing the food with warm water may be enough. Otherwise switching to wet dog food is recommended.
- Older dogs do not drink enoughOlder dogs often drink too little, which can have a negative impact on their health. The risk is greatest with dry dog food, which is why wet food is preferable.
- Fewer bonesEven if your dog is a real bone fan – with age, the feeding of bones should be reduced because the intestines work more slowly, increasing the risk of constipation.
- Warming up the foodWhen dogs suffer from a loss of appetite, this may be due to reduced sensory perception. Observe how your dog reacts to warmed wet dog food. You can heat the food in the microwave, add warm water to it or even fry it in a pan. It has a more intense smell, which often encourages eating.
Feeding older dogs
If your older dog has feeding problems, make sure that you consult a vet in good time. They can establish whether this is due to an illness and a change of food is therefore recommended. The vet may advise you on special dietary dog food or recommend switching from adult dog food to senior dog food. This is tailored to the different nutritional needs of an older dog. Firstly, this addresses the often reduced energy requirements due to decreased activity. And secondly, the vitamin and mineral composition is adapted to provide the senior dog with all the essential nutrients it needs.
Good dog food
Dog owners rightly wonder how to recognise good dog food. Here are some tips on what to look for when buying dog food.
Healthy eyes are important for a dog. If any changes or problems arise, consult a vet as soon as possible as many eye disorders can only be treated effectively if treated early enough.
Diabetes in dogs
Dogs can also suffer from elevated levels of glucose in the blood i.e. diabetes mellitus. If the early indications are recognised, however, the dog can receive treatment at an early stage, it can still reach old age despite having this disease.