(Question) Best Food for Senior Dog Food - or is it another case of marketing hype? Is there a need?
(Answer) My experience is that older dogs, more often than not, will need their feeding regime to change, however, there is no fixed rule as to what and when to convert to a senior dog food.
Let us first define when a dog becomes a "senior".
You will get a few slightly different opinions on this but by "averaging" I have come up with the following guide:
SENIOR STATUS arrives for dogs 50lbs+ (22.5kg+) at 5 years old, all others at 7 years old.
GERIATRIC STATUS arrives for 50lbs+ (22.5kgs) dogs at 10 years old, all others at 12 years old.
Different breeds, activity levels, general health etc. will all add up to just how and when your dog will being showing signs of old age.
Be very aware.
For us owners we need to be aware that our dogs will "slow down" but they will still try to please us by doing all the things we are used to doing with them, but inadvertently we could be doing them some harm.
They will not be able to go jogging with you to the same extent, or run alongside the bike, or power walk.
They will try, and try, and try, just to please you, but be observant and see if they are slowing down or panting earlier and more than usual.
Many kids grow up with "exercising - training - playing" with their dog, but fail to "adjust" things as the dog is getting older.
What food to give?
Unless there is a health reason in my opinion there is no need to change the dog food that you are giving. I certainly haven't.
There are many claims by the better quality manufacturers that their product is "suitable for all life stages" and I do agree with that, and I have never given "specially formulated senior foods"
On saying that though I DO ADD what I like to call my "prevention better than cure" natural immune building and arthritis fighting components!
So my version of best food for senior dog is feeding them their usual food plus some natural additives to help prevent some of the problems that often appear as dogs age.
I also changed to feeding them twice a day - half in the morning and half in the evening - as my vet suggested it was better for older dogs to have two feeds.
As well as their full annual check ups my dogs do have another "interim" health check, because dogs age so much faster than us humans do, in a 12 month period.
Also a blood test can highlight any health concerns far earlier, and in most cases well before, the symptoms appear.
I have one "geriatric" and one "senior" dog, both of whom get regular blood tests (at least once a year).
Should the vet want to "monitor" a reading then it would be done "as required" to screen for early signs of age related problems, such as Cushing's Disease, kidney, heart, liver, diabetes, etc. many of which are "manageable" if caught in the early stages.
Best Food for Senior Dog Selection.
I thought you might like to know what senior dog food I like the look of, and would be comfortable in giving to my dogs.
I have not had to change my dogs feeding due to any health problems but as I said earlier I do have my own "prevention better than cure" natural products that I add to my feeding.
These following links will take you to my "comments" and more information on each Best Food For Senior Dog selection. Each page will have links to the other products, and you may decide to give variety by choosing a selection, plus there will be a link to get back here, or to the HomePage.