by C. Markus on February 13th, 2012 at 7:00 am
Are diet changes required as a dog ages? If so, at what age should you change your dog’s diet? These are questions that many pet owners wonder. We have all seen pet foods that cater to elderly dogs, but are they necessary?
As dogs get older, they do require a change in diet. You can either feed them less of their regular food or choose a senior-specific dog food. Older dogs will inevitably begin to put on weight, so it is important to feed them a low-fat diet. Bowel problems such as diarrhea and constipation are almost inevitable, which is why a diet high in fiber can be very beneficial.
Common problems typically associated with older dogs can include:
- Skin and coat problems
- Trouble with digestion
- Muscle and joint pain
- Decreased immunity
- Dental issues
Many of these issues can be reduced if the proper diet is administered at the right age. So, at what age should you consider changing your dog’s diet? It all depends on the size of your dog. According to the ASPCA, changes in diet should be considered at age 7 if the dog weighs up to 50 pounds, 51-90 pounds at age 6, and dogs over 91 pounds at age 5.
You may also consider giving your pet supplements; these can be very helpful is treating specific problems. Make sure to consult with your vet before giving your pet any vitamins or supplements.
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