How Senior Dog's Diets Should Differ From Adults

  • 30/09/2019

The nutritional needs of every dog are different, and the same applies for the senior dogs. The dietary requirements of your dog change once he reaches his golden years. If your dog has transitioned into a senior one, you may have a lot of questions in your mind like is the senior dog food really necessary? What’s the best dog food for my senior dog? Are there nutritional differences between adult and senior dog food? Firstly, you must know at what age your dog should be considered senior.

Age of a Dog to be Considered Senior:

There is no medically specified age when a dog should be considered senior, but large breeds tend to have a shorter life span, so they are deemed senior at the age of 5 or 6. Small breeds tend to longer life expectancy and are considered senior at the age of 8 or 9.

There is so much confusion on the difference between senior dog’s diet and the regular one as the dog food products available in the market are labelled as “all life stages” or “multi-stage”. But there certainly are a few differences between the senior dog diet and the regular dog food. There are some dietary factors that can help your senior dog manage the medical conditions and physical changes as he age. Listed below are some ways in which senior dog food is different from the regular one.

Nutritional Differences:

There can be some nutritional adjustments needed by your senior dog, depending on his activity level and underlying medical conditions. Your senior dog may require a diet higher in protein because the older dogs start to lose muscles and their protein stores turn over more rapidly. High protein diet compensates for that loss and helps keep your dog stronger and mobile in the senior age.

Fat changes should be done in your senior dog’s diet if he is dropping pounds. If your dog is getting thinner, a high-fat diet is recommended. A low-fat diet is suitable if he is struggling with obesity. Combination of both soluble and non-soluble fibers called psyllium that often appear in senior dog food improve your dog’s digestion. A diet higher in fiber can help the dogs with constipation. Senior dogs usually require low-calorie food as their activity level is low. So keep control of the portions you serve your senior dog.


Guts of the dogs undergo changes as they age, and these changes somehow impact the way they digest critical nutrients. Senior dogs are more susceptible to digestion related problems like pancreatitis, colitis, food allergy, or inflammatory bowel disease. Such conditions require specific dietary changes. However, the best diet for a senior dog is the one that is tailored to that dog.

Food Texture:

You should ask a vet for recommendations if your dog is not taking to a particular food. Fresh and cooked diets may work for him as the dog’s body can easily break them down and pull nutrients than the uncooked diets or processed kibble. Particularly, if your dog is suffering from dental disease or has lost some teeth, serve him soft food like fresh, canned, or raw. Senior dogs are likely to have loose or infected teeth which makes it tough for them to break through kibble. There are many dog food products with added moisture for the dogs with dental problems

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