Nutritional needs change as a dog ages. Many breeds of dogs enter their senior years at 5-7. Like humans, as dogs’ age, their metabolism slows down. Obesity is one of the most common afflictions facing senior dogs. Stiff joints and muscles leave them wanting to run around less. As an owner of a senior dog, it is important to keep your dog exercising and it becomes more important than ever for your dog to get proper nutrition.

Quality dog foods will breakdown the specific ingredients. Read the label to make certain your dog is getting the best food for his needs.

In 100 grams of food there should be:

1.2 Grams of Fiber

0.55 Grams of Calcium

14 or Less Grams of Protein

9 or Less Grams of Fat

Less than 0.28 Grams of Sodium

Less than 0.33 Grams of Phosphorous

Vitamins also are important to the mature dog.

Vitamin B……………aids metabolism and appetite

Vitamin A……………aids muscles and eyes

Vitamin E…………….aids muscles and eyes

Shopping Tips for Dog Food from the Animal Protection Institute

Meat should be the first ingredient.

The label should have the AAFCO Guarantee.

Avoid if corn is listed two or more times in the top 5 ingredients.

Check expiration date.

Avoid foods with chemical preservatives like ethoxyquin, BHT, and BHA.

Look for foods with natural preservatives such as tocopherols, Vitamin C and Vitamin E.

Avoid bone meal, meat meal and other by-product ingredients.

Rice is the most digestible of all grains. If grain is in the formula, rice is a good choice.

As always, check with your veterinarian before changing diet and supplements. Your vet can often recommend a prescription dog food that will be just right for your pet’s changing needs. Keep your dog moving and eating right so you both can enjoy his senior years!


by Dave Eckholm