Our pets’ needs change as they age, and a one-size-fits-all pet food rarely is the best option for our animal friends. Your puppy has different nutritional demands than the average senior pet.
As your pet enters his or her golden years, it is important to take a step back and assess whether you are effectively meeting the nutritional requirements of an older animal. Take a moment with us and learn all about feeding your senior pet.
Good Nutrition Is Key
Feeding your pet a quality diet is essential to good health, no matter his or her age. A well rounded, balanced diet should include:
- A carbohydrate source
The balance of these nutrients is essential. When the right proportions are not achieved, it is possible for nutrient deficiencies, poor body condition, or obesity to result. The appropriate balance is different for every pet and is affected by species, age, activity level, and overall health status.
Poor nutritional practices can put a pet in danger of developing health problems, such as increased risk of cancer, diabetes, orthopedic problems, and cardiovascular issues.
Feeding the Senior Pet to Combat Specific Problems
When selecting a diet plan for your older pet, it is important to take some time in order to assess whether your furry friend has any specific problems or conditions that might narrow your selection. Common issues that dictate how one goes about feeding the senior pet include:
Obesity – An overweight pet is an unhealthy one. Older pets tend to be less active, meaning a food that is lower in calories is often a good choice. Pets who are already obese may benefit from a food that is designed to help with weight loss. We are happy to help you formulate a diet and exercise plan (maybe your dog would enjoy a doggy daycare session here on our new Astroturf lawn at Union Lake Pet Services?).
Arthritis – Aches and pains may be common as pets get older, but there is no need for discomfort. Diets designed to maintain an appropriate weight can help older pets get around. The strategic addition of supplements, such as omega 3 fatty acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin, can also be helpful for patients with arthritis. Let us help you to determine what amounts your pet needs to be beneficial.
Diabetes – Diabetes is a common ailment amongst middle-aged to older pets. Weight management is key. Some animals benefit from diets higher in protein or fiber.
Kidney insufficiency – Oftentimes we can detect early renal issues through routine screening tests. Diet is key in helping these pets maintain the best kidney function possible.
Digestive problems – Senior pets may experience digestive issues that respond well to an animal probiotic or fiber.
It can be dizzying to formulate a nutritional plan for your pet. Union Lake Pet Services is happy to help you make the right decision when it comes to feeding your senior pet.