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Senior Food?

Share advice for keeping your aging dog happy and healthy

  
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Missy

Miss- Pig!
 
 
Barked: Thu Mar 3, '11 5:40pm PST 
So what's the deal with Senior food? According to the diet Missy is on ( and most others come to that ), they offer a senior range for dogs over 7 years old. Most are a light version for dogs with slower metabolisms etc, but i'm just wondering how and when people here change their dog over, if they do at all. And, if you do what are the benefits? I've got Missy on the normal adult version still and plan to keep her on it but i've always been curious about senior diets and their uses.
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Thu Mar 3, '11 8:19pm PST 
The vet told me to put Sassy on senior food when she was 8-9 years old and I put Max on it at the same time. Didn't make sense to me as the reasoning was senior dogs get fat and I hadn't any trouble keeping her slim but I did it anyway. It did not go over well with him, he would just look at me. I gave up and both dogs were eating regular Canidae unless it was Wellness, don't remember, until 2007 when I started cooking for them.

There are better senior foods these days. Apparently senior dogs aren't as efficient utilizing nutrients and need more protein than adult dogs so Orijen for one has a pretty good senior formula. I know Sassy was getting 30% protein in spite of her kidney disease and did better on it than on the 22% protein Canidae or was it Wellness. She was less wobbly and her leg didn't get caught and stuck in the trench people dig between the sidewalk and the lawn any more!
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Missy

Miss- Pig!
 
 
Barked: Fri Mar 4, '11 7:35am PST 
Thanks for the info Max, you learn something new everyday way to go
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The Urban- Hounds- (Formerly- the

Every dog must- have his day.
 
 
Barked: Fri Mar 4, '11 1:37pm PST 
I feed Zira and Ping lowfat wellness core because they are not super active and tehy get a lot of vitamins. With Ping I only feed the lowfat for breakfast and she rotates different grain free varietys at dinner. Its not a senior food per see but it is low fat and Dr. Z in particular is not active.

Tubby eats natures variety raw and Norbert eats grain free adult
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Vance CGC

You kids g'off- my lawn!
 
 
Barked: Mon Mar 7, '11 9:32am PST 
Senior foods are typically just lower in calories (and therefore in poor quality foods, higher in fillers). The assumption being that seniors have a lower metabolism and therefore get fat eating "adult" foods. The universal recommendation seems to be that dogs need senior food after 7 years of age, although this drives me bonkers for several reasons, including but not limited to the fact that for most breeds, 7 years is middle-aged.

Seniors do have a different metabolism. In addition, joints may start to ache, eyesight may fade, and dogs often become much less active. However, just like adolescence and maturity, "seniordom" is a physical change that is different for every individual. Since I feed raw and I don't measure precise amounts, I monitor my dogs weight closely on a daily basis. Vance's metabolism changed around 8 years and 3 months. Universally, my recommendation is to be aware of an eventual change in metabolism and be prepared to alter your feeding plan. In most cases I would say that entails feeding less of a high-quality food, not necessarily just switching to something labeled "senior."

It's also worth considering the fact that seniors don't process food as well as they did in their youth. I do believe most if not all seniors will reach a point where any kibble (and potentially other whole foods as well - Vance no longer eats whole turkey necks and the like) is inappropriate, and they need canned/ground/mashed/pureed food. I've seen many old dogs who start to suffer from chronic diarrhea, vomiting and weight loss make a full turn around simply by switching them from foods that must be broken down extensively by their digestive system to foods that are already as broken down as possible before it even reaches their mouth.
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Bam-Bam, CGC

Lil' Rubble
 
 
Barked: Mon Mar 7, '11 9:41am PST 
Like Max said, seniors are not as efficient at digesting protein, and need higher amounts of it than the average, adult "maintenance" dog. So far my fave two senior foods are Orijen and Wellness Core Low Fat.

Edited by moderator Tue Mar 8, '11 1:28pm PST

Edited by forums moderator
Sam

I can get out of- anything...
 
 
Barked: Mon Mar 7, '11 9:52am PST 
I wouldn't trust a senior food either. With good supplements and a good quality food like a quality kibble/raw/or a balanced homecooked diet is sufficient.
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Mon Mar 7, '11 11:17am PST 
Vance, I just noticed that too! Max is okay with turkey necks and chicken bones but venison and pork are starting to be hard for him to deal with and he gets interesting poop when he eats them just this past month or so.
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Jenna

We Are The- Champions!
 
 
Barked: Mon Mar 7, '11 7:47pm PST 
I know Jenna is 5, but her older sister is over 10. Anyway, I've tried Sr diets on Gwynevere, but she would always lose weight. I asked my vet if it was really necessary and he said it wasn't. Jenna and Gwyn both eat Taste of the Wild or Blue Buffalo (sometimes Wilderness sometimes regular). Both of them have excellent blood profiles and most people when they see Gwyn and I tell them her age are amazed. Apart from a little gray around her muzzle, she still likes to run and play with her younger sister and you really can't see how old she is from the way she plays.
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Dr. Zira-In- Memory

Welcome to the- planet of the- monkey dogs
 
 
Barked: Tue Mar 8, '11 3:20am PST 
I also dont like senior food. I think wellness core lowfat is good though and it has slightly lower phosphorus which is good for Zira's kidneys

Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Potatoes, Dried Ground Potatoes, Pea Fiber, Whitefish Meal, Tomato Pomace, Natural Chicken Flavor, Chicken Liver, Salmon Oil, Flaxseed, Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Kale, Broccoli, Spinach, Parsley, Apples, Blueberries, Vitamins, Minerals, Choline Chloride, Chicory Root Extract, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Lactobacillus plantarum, Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Mixed Tocopherols, Rosemary Extract.
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