When your best friend becomes a senior, that is over seven years old, it may be time to switch their food to something better suited for their aging digestive system. Besides their digestive system, some older dogs do not have strong teeth, or any teeth, to continue to chew hard kibble. Senior dogs naturally have different dietary needs, as well as other needs, so owners must adjust their pets’ diet and lifestyle to ensure that their canine companions can continue living their fullest lives. Check out this “Ultimate Guide to Dog Care from Puppy to Senior” to learn about how you can better care for your beloved furry best friend.
If you research the best senior dog food, you will find hundreds of different brands and formulas available for your pup. Below are some of the signs your dog may need a different diet, then you can choose which food will best address their issues.
1. Weakness and/or Lethargy
Sometimes stress will cause a dog to become weak or lethargic, however, there are other reasons behind this alarming change in your pet’s behavior. A change in diet could become an immune system booster for your pup, however, it is important to check with your veterinarian before changing their food.
Severe and prolonged weakness can be a sign of something medically wrong with your dog and will need to be evaluated before changing their menu.
2. Pudgy Midsection
If your pup is older and experiencing a pudgy midsection, it may be time to change their food. When a pet reaches a certain age, which is different for each dog, they can become fatter and slower. You will be able to tell by standing above your dog and taking note of their size. They will also not be as active when venturing outside or playing their favorite game of ball or fetch the stick.
A new diet food, one approved by your vet, will be needed to keep the weight off your pup. You will also need to get them to exercise more, by walking them or more playtime.
3. Constant Itching
Many dogs will itch now and then. They go outside and come in contact with lots of things that make the itch. However, if they are constantly itching and won’t seem to stop, it may be time for a change in diet.
Many older doggies will suddenly experience skin issues, sometimes referred to as “hot spots” that won’t seem to heal. This is a time for testing at your vet as well as a recommendation for a new type of food.
4. Gastrointestinal Issues
If your dog is flatulent, more than normal, or if their tummy rumbles a lot, and their stool is loose, you may need to have a veterinarian to look them over. They may need a new menu, one with less salt or no grain, but this will need to be determined by a professional.
Like humans, some dogs cannot tolerate a certain ingredient. You may need to do some trial and error with their diet before finding the one that agrees with their stomach.
5. Dirty Ears
When your dog is constantly itching their ears, check to see if they have an abundance of dirt in them. This could be ear mites and be a result of the wrong diet.
Before changing your beloved dog’s menu, be sure to get them checked by a veterinarian. These issues could be a sign of something medically wrong and not simply dietary.
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood
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