Pets age a lot faster than we do, which is why they require a lot of attention as the years go by. Unfortunately, our beloved pets grow more and more vulnerable and weaker as they age. One dietary mistake, such as feeding them food that is too high in fats or preservatives, can put them at risk of illness or even death. This is why we are here to tell you how to pick the right food for your senior pet.
Consider Switching to Senior Pet Dry Food
Confer with your vet before you make any major changes to your pet’s diet, especially if you’re switching from regular to dry food. Feeding your senior pet dry food that was specifically made for older pets in mind is your safest bet. This is because professional suppliers understand the changing dietary needs of your pet. They also realize that senior dogs like to be fed smaller, kibble-size food as it’s easier to chew. Like humans, a dog’s teeth decay naturally as it ages. It experiences heightened discomfort and dental pain. Some brands even create senior dry food that aids in scratching away plaque and tartar build-up. This helps lower the risk of bad bacteria and infections.
Don’t Skimp on the Protein
Pets need a higher protein intake when they grow old as it allows them to maintain their lean body mass. Older pets tend to move a lot less, slowing down their metabolism in the process. Their protein reserves also turn over a lot more quickly, making them susceptible to muscle mass loss. Besides containing amino acids, which help counter this loss, proteins are also easy to digest. Feeding your furry friend adequate amounts of protein can help you keep them strong and active. The amount of protein that your pet requires depends on its type, sex, size, and more. However, a rule of thumb for the average senior dog is at least 75 grams of protein for every 1000 calories it consumes. It’s also important to keep in mind that your pet’s phosphorous intake may inevitably increase with their high protein consumption. If your pet has kidney disease or is at risk of developing it, restricting its phosphorous intake will be vital to its well-being. This is why we recommend that you seek your vet’s advice regarding your pet’s protein consumption.
Consider Your Pet’s Fiber Needs
As your pet ages, it may require higher or lower fiber intake, depending on its gastrointestinal health. There are generally two types of fibers: soluble and insoluble fibers. The former aids in the fermentation of bacteria, while the latter promotes better intestinal movement by adding bulk to the stool that can’t be broken down by bacteria. Psyllium is an example of mixed fiber, which combines both types of fibers, providing the needed gastrointestinal support. If your pet struggles with constipation, feeding them a high-fiber diet can help bring them ease. On the downside, your pet may not be able to effectively absorb essential nutrients if they eat a lot of fiber, which isn’t ideal. This is why you must always carefully consider your pet’s needs.
If you’re a pet owner, then you already realize that each dog, cat, or bunny is different than its peers. There are no instructions that you can turn to whenever it comes to caring for, loving, and nurturing your furry companion. Each pet has its unique dietary and care needs, and this doesn’t change when they’ve reached their golden, perhaps most critical years. This is why any dietary changes must be tailored to your pet’s needs, and of course, made under your vet’s supervision.