What should I be feeding my senior dog?
Dog owners are becoming more and more aware nowadays that senior dog’s need a different diet to their younger counterparts to help them get the most out of life – but as to how this differs and what they actually need is something they are less sure about. Hopefully by the end of this though you’ll be happier with what to look for.
When is a dog actually classified as ‘senior’? Believe it or not, a giant breed is senior from the age of 5, large and medium dogs from 7, and small and mini breeds from 9. Whilst you may not feel they are looking older, the internal ageing process starts to occur long before any outward signs are visible, and it is important to be proactive and change them onto an appropriate diet before you start to see these signs.
With ageing, several changes may occur including:
- Weight gain and muscle loss
- Decreased joint mobility
- Decreased immune function
- Digestive tract changes, resulting in poorer stool quality
- Organ system dysfunction e.g. kidneys, liver
- Decrease in senses e.g. vision or hearing loss, reduced sense of smell or taste (which can reduce appetite)
- Mental ageing – a decline in brain function which can result in disorientation, changes in interaction with the family, restlessness, and house soiling
Many senior diets aim to tackle as many of these changes as possible to slow down the signs of ageing, and Purina® Pro Plan® OPTIAge® is exceptional at this. So how can the nutrition in OPTIAge® help?
- Weight gain and muscle loss – OPTIAge® is specially formulated with reduced energy and fat to help minimise weight gain and high levels of high quality protein to help maintain lean muscle
- Joint mobility – OPTIAge® contains omega 3 fatty acids proven to have a beneficial effect in maintaining joint health and also contains natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin
- Decreased immune function and organ function – OPTIAge® has high levels of antioxidants which are particularly useful to support both the joints and organs
- Digestive tract changes – OPTIAge® is highly digestible, reducing the work for the gut, and contains a prebiotic in it, proven to help improve digestive health by increasing the number of ‘good bugs’ in the gut
- Reduced sense of smell or taste – With chicken as the first ingredient, OPTIAge® tastes delicious to maintain a good appetite
However, where OPTIAge® really comes into its own is tackling mental ageing. As well as plenty of antioxidants, OPTIAge® contains a patented* blend of oils including those from coconut oil – known to be a superfood – which is clinically proven to enhance memory and attention span in ageing dogs and help senior dogs stay active, lively and alert…and you could notice differences within 4 weeks of feeding it! The changes that can be seen with brain ageing can be extremely distressing and upsetting – both for you and your dog. The nutrition offered by OPTIAge® helps slow down many of these signs of ageing, helping to give your old companion an improved life quality…and who doesn’t want that? It is never too late to try it, so give it a go! We’d love to hear how you get on!
From our Purina Vet Ellie