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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Pet Care Library > Articles > Feeding Your Senior Dog

Feeding Your Senior Dog

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Join the weight watchers
Older dogs tend to put on weight as their metabolism slows and creakiness sets in. But excess weight puts added pressure on sore joints and backs, says Dr. Wynn. Forgo weight-reducing or senior diets, which may not have enough high-quality meat ingredients. Instead, give your dog slightly smaller servings of a high-quality food. Supplement the diet with fresh vegetables. Pretty soon you'll have a thinner -- and healthier -- pooch.

Stop the handouts

Join the weight watchers
Older dogs tend to put on weight as their metabolism slows and creakiness sets in. But excess weight puts added pressure on sore joints and backs, says Dr. Wynn. Forgo weight-reducing or senior diets, which may not have enough high-quality meat ingredients. Instead, give your dog slightly smaller servings of a high-quality food. Supplement the diet with fresh vegetables. Pretty soon you'll have a thinner -- and healthier -- pooch.

Stop the handouts
Resist the temptation to slip your dog table scraps. They won't help his weight, and his tummy will take even less kindly to rich food than it did when he was younger. "Even a tiny piece of Easter ham is a tough thing for an older dog to handle," says Dr. Wolf.

Tantalize his taste buds
Loss of appetite can be a sign of illness in any dog, young or old. But if your older pet has a clean bill of health and still doesn't go for his food, it might be that his sense of smell has diminished. "You can make mealtimes more drool-worthy by adding some smelly, low-fat additions to his food, like tuna oil or clam juice," suggests Dr. Wynn. "Or try heating some canned food in the microwave to warm it up and bring out the aroma, then serve it with his regular meal."

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Comments

15 Dec 2010 5:27 pm

julie45 said:

Have you tried wet food? Nature's Recipe, Wellness, and Nutro have natural canned food for senior dogs.
As always, consult your veterinarian before making changes to your dog's diet.

For more information on food, read the articles Whet your dog's appetite with wet food, How Life Stage Dog Foods Differ, and How to Change Your Pet's Diet

15 Dec 2010 11:16 am

amazeme1954 said:

I just adopted an 8 year old poodle who has had several teeth removed and will have more worked on to bring her back to good oral health. I dont want a hard to chew dog food. A soft morsal type would be best for her. I want to avoid anything with corn and want all natural. I have tried Nutro which she swallows whole. She's 12 pounds and should be 9 for her size. I could use sound educated advice, not like the pushy brand promoters in the store. I want whats best for her.

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