How to Keep A Senior Dog Healthy into Old Age

How to Keep A Senior Dog Healthy into Old Age

What Should Be in a Senior Dog's Diet

As a dog gets older, adjustments to their diet is needed to keep them in tip-top shape. Muscle mass in senior dogs starts to decrease with age, so an upkeep of around 50% of their protein is recommended to keep your pet on its feet. Water balance in dogs also decreases, so more water is encouraged to keep your dog hydrated. Weight is also a problem with senior dogs, as they often become underweight; lowering the calories and fat of your pet’s diet will aid them with better weight. Last but not least, high-fiber diets lower the chances of constipation, which is a more often occurrence the older your dog gets.

Why do Dogs Eat Grass and Dirt?

There are many reasons why your pet eats grass or dirt. It can be as simple as them smelling something interesting. It can also be a sign your dog is stressed or bored. “Other suggested reasons why your dog might be eating grass include improving digestion, treating intestinal worms, or fulfilling some unmet nutritional need, including the need for fiber,” says pets.webmb.com. Plant-based diets high in Omegas like the one NatrixOne provides is great for your grass-dining dog.

What to Look for in a Senior Dog's Poop

Senior dogs often poop only once a day. Knowing this, you’ll know if your dog has diarrhea or constipation if they start pooping erratically or stop all-together. On the topic of constipation: as dogs age, their food movements slow down; this can lead to constipation. While you can decrease your dog’s chances of unhealthy bowel movements with a specialized diet, knowing the signs will help you to treat their ailment as quickly as possible.

Age-related Dog Diseases

  • Arthritis
  • Pneumonia
  • Cancer
  • Bronchitis
  • Ear Inflammation
  • Pancreatitis
  • Renal Failure
  • Vascular Disease
  • Sushing Syndrome
  • Degenerative Lumbosacral Tenonsis
  • Degenerative Myelopathy
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Bowel Disease

Activities your Senior Dog will Love

As your dog gets older, they’ll begin to weaken and slow down. This doesn’t mean there’s no way to stimulate them though! Swimming is a great way for senior dogs to exercise, and it’ll be easy on any sore or arthritic joints. A slow and steady walk can also be a good way for them to get out while keeping up with their slowing pace. 30 minutes a day is the recommended average of physical exercise for your dog.

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About the Author

Rich Coleman
Dr. Rich Coleman grew up in Fairfield, Ohio and began his journey into veterinary medicine as a kennel attendant at the age of 15. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Cincinnati before graduating from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2002. Dr. Rich took over Plum Veterinary Clinic in December 2006, changed the name to Four Paws Animal Hospital in 2007, built a new facility in 2012 and began a remodel in March 2019 to allow for more growth and opportunities for our community. Dr. Rich Coleman is the Chief Veterinary Officer for NatrixOne™ and completed our 100 dog study in 2018. After seeing results firsthand, he joined the NatrixOne team!