If you have been giving food prescribed or suggested by your vet since your furbaby was a pup, then you have less adjustments to make in the diet of your dog when he or she becomes a senior dog.
But if you gave your dog anything she or he begged from you since a pup, it is best to have a blood test done and determine the appropriate food for your dog based on the vet’s assessment.
Some dogs who were given table food with preservatives, soy sauce and salt tend to have rather high values related to the condition of the kidneys and the liver.
But if you have had a blood test done yearly, this would have been detected early and a change in diet would have been advised.
If you do not have a blood test done yearly, and you give table food, please have a blood test done as soon as you can if your dog is already a senior dog.
Based on the blood test result, your vet will advise you on what food is most appropriate for your dog to hopefully reverse the effects of the ingredients in table food that are not good for your dog. If the blood test shows your dog is suffering from a dis-ease, the vet can prescribe medicine and the appropriate food to ease his discomfort.
The shift from one diet to another will not be easy but it is important to help your dog live without the discomfort of an illness in his/her last years.
If you really love your dog, you must practice “tough love” and think of his/her health when he/she starts begging for table food again.
It is not going to be easy but think kidney failure or liver cancer and that will make you follow your vet’s advice. Think of wanting to have your baby live longer with you, and it will be easier to say No to those begging eyes. You wouldn’t want to see your dog suffering due to an illness, do you?
Good food for a senior dog
I do hope that from puppyhood to adulthood, you avoided food with salt, sugar, preservatives, soy sauce, fish sauce, and other food that are not good for dogs.
Please continue to do so.
If your senior dog is not sick based on the blood test, here is a list of good food you can choose from or you can add to your dog’s diet, according to Petcha.com in 10 Best Foods To Feed Your Senior Dog.
Yogurt contains probiotics or beneficial bacteria that help heal digestive problems. You can put a spoonful of plain low-fat or nonfat yogurt with live cultures in your dog’s meal.
Eggs contain protein that is good for your dog. Boil the egg to make it easier for your dog to digest it. Dogs do not have to worry about high cholesterol as humans do.
“Eggs can consist of one half of your dog’s diet. Most people feed no more than two eggs a day to a large dog (more than 60 pounds), one egg to a medium size dog (30 to 60 pounds), and ½ of an egg to a small dog (less than 30 pounds). Another option would be to give a small dog one egg every other day,” Petcha.com says.
Exceptionally nutrient-dense, the liver is packed with vitamins and trace minerals. It is exceptionally nutrient-dense.
“Feed small amounts regularly. Feeding large amounts at once can lead to loose stools. Liver should be no more than about 5 percent of the total diet. For a 50-pound dog, that comes out to about 1 ounce of liver daily. A 25-pound dog might eat 1/2 ounce of liver daily, or 1 ounce every other day. A tiny dog would eat even less, maybe 1/2 ounce every other day, while a 100-pound dog could have 2 ounces a day or 4 ounces every other day,” Petcha.com says.
Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids which support the immune system, reduce inflammation, and contribute to skin and coat health.
“Canned fish with bones, such as sardines, jack mackerel, and pink salmon, are better than tuna. Rinse the fish before feeding to reduce sodium. A 50-pound dog could eat 1 or 2 ounces of fish (two to four small sardines) daily, while a 25-pound dog can eat half that much, and a 100-pound dog can eat twice as much. Another option is to feed a whole meal of fish once or twice a week,” says Petcha.com
Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts have antioxidants and other nutrients that might prevent cancer.
“Limit amounts if they cause gas. These vegetables are best served cooked because the raw form can suppress thyroid function if you feed too much,“ Petcha.com says.
6. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes have beta-carotene which is also contained in other yellow-orange vegetables.
“They are also a good source of vitamin C and other antioxidants. Sweet potatoes and other starchy foods should always be cooked,” says Petcha.com
Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries contain antioxidants that might help prevent cancer. These also provide fiber.
Petcha.com notes: “Dark meat provides more nutrition than the ultra-low-fat chicken breast. Remove skin for dogs that need fewer calories.”
Red meat contains iron, zinc, and other nutrients your dog needs.
“Feeding a mix of poultry and ruminant meats, such as beef and lamb, supplies a wider variety of fatty acids than feeding only one or the other. For older dogs, cook beef and drain some of the fat,“ Petcha.com says.
Petcha.com adds.”Oats and other whole grains provide a variety of vitamins and minerals, including antioxidants, as well as fiber that can help some dogs with digestive issues.”
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