A Guide to Senior Dog Nutrition
Dogs are considered senior from around the age of seven - with larger breeds it may be slightly earlier, and with smaller breeds, slightly later - but from around that time it’s important you upgrade their dog food to one that is more suitable to their needs at that stage of life.
As with humans, older dogs tend to slow down a bit, and their bodies need a little more support. From mobility and heart health to their immune and digestive systems, it’s important you transition them onto a food that is formulated to cater to their needs.
As dogs get older, it’s common for them to become less active, especially if they suffer from conditions such as arthritis or hip dysplasia which makes it difficult and sometimes painful to move. If they continue to eat at the same rate they did when they were moving around a lot more, it is easy for them to gain weight and become obese. Not only will this put further pressure on their joints, making movement more painful and difficult, obesity is also linked to a whole host of health issues which can be avoided with a better maintained diet.
As such, senior dog foods are often lower in calories, to balance out their reduction in energy expenditure. Our complete dry dog food with natural free-run chicken is specially formulated for senior dogs and contains optimal protein & fat levels for your senior dog to help support their digestion. This helps less mobile dogs who are prone to weight gain and those with joint problems and stiffness remain a healthy weight. It has been carefully formulated by our very talented team of nutritionists using all the highest quality natural ingredients to provide wholesome nutrition, containing no artificial colours or flavours, no dairy, no soya and no added wheat. Barking Heads Golden Years also contains added Glucosamine & chondroitin vitamins and minerals to help promote and support healthy joints. With optimal levels of protein and necessary fats and oils this complete dry food offers a balanced, well-designed recipe that’s not only nutritionally beneficial but delicious for even the fussiest of eaters. As like all of our dog food here at Barking Heads, Golden Years Senior dog food is vet approved keeping your mind at peace.
Your dog’s tummy is highly sensitive and rushing the changeover to senior food can lead to painful and messy digestive issues, so it’s best to introduce it into their diet gradually. Slowly mix a little of the new food in, adding a little more of the new and less of the old each day for 14 days. This gives them time to adjust to the new flavours, textures and smells, whilst being gentle on their stomach. After two weeks, your dog should be fully transitioned over to their new dog food and will have officially graduated from their adult diet onto a senior one.
It’s important you calculate their portion sizes with any treats or snacks in mind as the calories can quickly add up, and much like us, being overweight can lead to a whole host of health problems for your older dog. Be sure they’re eating a complete, balanced diet and get plenty of exercise to stay fit, well and mobile.