Top benefits of senior dog food - Fox 2 News Headlines

Top benefits of senior dog food

Updated: March 19, 2012 03:00 PM EDT
© iStockphoto.com / Robert Dant © iStockphoto.com / Robert Dant
  • Pet of the WeekMore>>

  • Pet Connect: Meet Cuddles

    Pet Connect: Meet Cuddles

    Monday, August 25 2014 11:22 AM EDT2014-08-25 15:22:04 GMT
    Meet Cuddles, a 1-year-old Persian, brown patch tabby. Cuddles is up for adoption at Grosse Pointe Animal Adoption Society (GPAAS).


  • Meet "Hope"

    Meet "Hope"

    Monday, July 7 2014 1:20 PM EDT2014-07-07 17:20:39 GMT
    The pet of the week is "Hope." She is a calico domestic medium haired cat. She is 3 years old, has had all her vaccinations and is ready for her new fur-ever home. The Oakland County Animal Control and Pet Adoption Center is hosting a special cat adoption event this weekend, Saturday, July 12th from 10 to 4. The "Certified Pre-Owned Cat Adoption Event" will feature some of Oakland County's furry finest. Looking for a newer model or maybe a pre-owned with low mileage? We have a cat for any li...
    The pet of the week is "Hope." She is a calico domestic medium haired cat. She is 3 years old, has had all her vaccinations and is ready for her new fur-ever home. The Oakland County Animal Control and Pet Adoption Center is hosting a special cat adoption event this weekend, Saturday, July 12th from 10 to 4. The "Certified Pre-Owned Cat Adoption Event" will feature some of Oakland County's furry finest. Looking for a newer model or maybe a pre-owned with low mileage? We have a cat for any li...
  • Pet Connect : Meet Furbie

    Pet Connect : Meet Furbie

    Monday, June 23 2014 12:06 PM EDT2014-06-23 16:06:09 GMT
    Meet Furbie, He's a longhair chihuahua mix, 6-7 year old, 3 lbs, available for adoption at the Grosse Pointe Animal Adoption Society.
     





    Meet Furbie, He's a longhair chihuahua mix, 6-7 year old, 3 lbs, available for adoption at the Grosse Pointe Animal Adoption Society.
     





  • From The Dog DailyMore>>

  • The best way to clip your dog’s nails

    The best way to clip your dog’s nails

    Being a dog owner means sometimes taking on tasks that might not be that pleasant -- for either you or your dog. Nail clipping, in some cases, is one of the tasks.
    Being a dog owner means sometimes taking on tasks that might not be that pleasant -- for either you or your dog. Nail clipping, in some cases, is one of the tasks.
  • 5 fun ways to show your dog you love her

    5 fun ways to show your dog you love her

    There are many ways to show your dog that she is your best friend and an important member of your family.
    There are many ways to show your dog that she is your best friend and an important member of your family. From doing activities together to creating a space just for her, these are some easy ways you can strengthen your bond with your four-legged friend.
  • Prepare your dog for guests

    Prepare your dog for guests

    Inviting guests to your home when you have a new or energetic dog can prove to be challenging. Just a little training -- for both your dog and your guests -- will make visits more enjoyable for everyone.
    Inviting guests to your home when you have a new or energetic dog can prove to be challenging. Just a little training -- for both your dog and your guests -- will make visits more enjoyable for everyone.

By Elijah Merrill
 

If your older, once active dog is experiencing weight gain or health problems, consider looking into its diet -- it may be in need of a dog food that's formulated for senior dogs.

While senior formulas are nothing new, continued scientific advances lead to significant changes that are recent. For instance, senior formulas used to have greatly reduced protein content for fear that they could lead to kidney problems. But within the last decade, science has reversed the thinking in that regard, and a significant amount of protein is now a crucial aspect of senior dog food.

"The basic understanding of the science has really pushed the needle toward making food and nutrition optimal," says Dr. Ernie Ward, a veterinarian and nutrition expert in North Carolina. "Seniors are living better than ever before. It's never been a better time to be an old dog."


Senior Dog Food Ingredients


Ward and Dr. Katy Johnson Nelson, a Virginia-based veterinarian, point out some key things to look for when considering a senior formula:

Protein: Ideally from a formulation that's at least 24 percent and higher protein from animal sources like chicken.

Reduced sodium (salt): High blood pressure is a serious concern for aging dogs. While research on the effects of sodium is ongoing, few doubt that dogs should consume an appropriate, and not excessive, amount of sodium in their diets.

Low caloric density: Compared to adult formulas, senior formulations in general will drop 20 to 30 percent in calorie density per serving. "That's a big difference because we get into a habit of giving a cup or a bowl per day," says Ward. "So the food itself needs to have fewer calories in that cup or bowl." Keep in mind, however, that senior dogs (9 years of age and older for large breeds and 11 years of age and older for small and medium breeds) may have different specific caloric needs. Consult with your veterinarian to determine what is best for your pet.

Omega-3 fatty acids: To combat the increased inflammation that comes with aging.

Glucosamine and chondroitin: To combat and prevent arthritic conditions. "The only caution is that the amount of the omega-3 and glucosamine may not be adequate for a specific pet. You may need to supplement," says Ward.


When and How to Switch Foods


Senior status for dogs is generally considered to come at age 11, but large breeds should probably switch one to two years earlier. Beyond that, the doctors say to not wait for symptoms to present themselves before switching. "This is about prevention, not just treatment," says Ward. "Be very proactive."

When you introduce the new food, do so gradually as an increasing percentage of a mixture with your dog's current food. "Take at least seven to 10 days to switch your pet's food," says Nelson. "A fast switch can lead to significant GI upset and an aversion to the new diet."

It's important to remember there is no one-size-fits-all food. "There is no perfect food, but there is a food out there that is perfect for your pet," says Nelson. "Include your veterinarian in the conversation, and you can find the food that is just right for your pup's specific nutritional needs and health concerns."

In the future, Ward thinks genetic profiling technology will allow veterinarians to recommend a personalized diet that best suits your dog's unique DNA. For now, he stresses how important it is to take advantage of today's optimized, high-quality senior dog foods. "There's nothing better you can do to prevent disease and add longevity than choosing the right food for your pet," he says.



Copyright © 2012 Studio One Networks. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by WorldNow

WJBK-TV | Fox 2
16550 West Nine Mile Rd.
Southfield, MI 48075

Main Station: (248) 557-2000
Newsroom: (248) 552-5103

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices