Blog posts for August 2017

 

The best food for senior dogs

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As dogs get older, it can be common for them to experience more health issues. 

As dogs get older, it can be common for them to experience more health issues. These may include ageing joints, illness, delicate digestion and needing help to manage a healthy weight. This is why our Eukanuba™ Senior Diets are specially formulated to help keep your dog at their healthiest as they age.

 

Senior Dogs

 

What a senior dog needs from their diet

As every dog ages, their activity levels typically decrease and their metabolic rate can begin to slow down. If not managed correctly, this can put them at risk of gaining weight which can then lead to further health issues. As well as the increased risk of weight gain, their digestion and overall gastrointestinal health are more likely to need support. This is why our Senior Diets not only have a decreased calorie content, but also contain optimal fibre levels and prebiotics to help promote their overall gastrointestinal health.

 

Senior Dog Food

 

Common health issues in senior dogs

Older dogs experience a variety of changes as they begin to reach their senior years. As their body composition changes, some dogs can lose lean muscle mass and gain body fat. Conditions such as arthritis, joint pain and obesity are all more likely to develop as a dog gets older. However, all these conditions can have their effects reduced and sometimes even avoided when a senior dog is fed a high-quality diet that includes certain preventative measures.

Our Eukanuba™ Senior Diets combat this by utilising an increased level of highly digestible animal proteins to support lean muscle mass. The lower calorie count can be beneficial when your senior dog has decreased activity levels as it helps to avoid increased weight gain. Fibres and prebiotics added into our Senior Diets also support their gastrointestinal health and help promote good stool quality.

Older dogs can also suffer from arthritis and joint pain due to many factors, including increased stress on the joints and predispositions. This is why all Eukanuba™ Senior Diets contain natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate, along with omega 3 oils to help reduce joint inflammation and ease your dog’s discomfort.

Dental disease can be another problem for senior pets if they have not had proper dental care during adulthood. All Eukanuba™ Senior Diets include our easy chew kibble with dental defense to help reduce plaque and maintain strong teeth. When experiencing severe dental disease problems, it’s a good idea to discuss some alternative options with your vet. Your pet’s health is very important, so please remember that your dog needs to be examined by a vet at least once a year. It is easier to prevent a health issue, rather than treat one.

 

Best Senior Dog Food

 

Encouraging a senior dog's appetite

Lots of dogs begin to lose their appetite as they age. This can be because theymight not be burning the same amount of energy, so their appetite decreases. For other dogs, it may be because they suffer from dental issues that give them discomfort when they try to eat. Some dogs simply begin to lose their sense of smell and taste, so they are no longer instinctively drawn to their food.

To help overcome these issues, many owners like to include a canned wet food to mix into their pet’s meals. Wet pet food usually has an appetising aroma that helps tempt an older dog and the softer textures make it easier for sensitive teeth to chew. Another option to help entice your senior dog at meal time is to divide up their food into two or three meals a day. This can help make those picky eaters easier to manage and can reduce wastage in the bowl.

 

Active Senior Dog

 

Too young to retire

At Eukanuba™, we want your dog to live a long, healthy life doing what they do best - being a dog. This is why we have created a specially formulated range of Senior Diets to help keep your dog in the best possible condition as they age. Check out our Senior Diet range to see how you can keep your older dog away from retirement.

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Best senior dog food for large breeds

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When your dog ages, their eating habits and dietary needs are also likely to change.

When your dog ages, their eating habits and dietary needs are also likely to change. Larger breed dogs can be classified as senior from five years of age and onwards, compared to smaller breeds which can be classified as senior from seven years. Looking into a diet that fits the specific needs of a larger dog can help play an important role in managing some of the health problems that bigger, ageing dogs are more prone to.

It should have fewer calories

Larger dogs usually have a big appetite, but as they age they develop a slower metabolic rate. This means it’s important that their diet has fewer calories but still manages to satisfy their appetite. Ageing dogs can have lower energy levels, so they no longer need a diet that puts this as a priority. This decreased activity means that ageing dogs are prone to weight gain and a diet such as our Senior Large Diet is ideal as it has a lower calorie content.

 

Best senior dog food

 

It should support their joints

Ageing dogs can be prone to developing joint issues, but bigger breeds are much more likely to suffer from joint pain. Large dogs have a big build that is supported by their joints, but if your dog is gaining weight in its older years, this can put extra strain on their already weakening joints. Many larger breeds develop arthritis as they get older, so a diet high in omega fatty acids can help promote good joint health. As bigger breeds need support for their larger frames and hardworking joints, a diet enriched with minerals such as glucosamine can help ease inflammation.

 

Senior Dog Food

 

It should maintain their muscle mass

Even though you’ll want to feed your senior large dog a diet lower in calories, you still want to make sure their diet contains enough protein and fat. These are both essential in maintaining healthy muscle mass and energy requirements. However, as dogs age they can often have some trouble metabolising food as efficiently as they once did. That’s why our Senior Large diet includes highly digestible proteins that are easier for them to absorb and utilise in their body.  

As your dog gets older, it’s important to consider switching them over to a diet that better meets their changing needs. Eukanuba™ Senior Large Diet helps with these new needs and can assist with joint health and prevent weight gain to make sure your senior dog is getting everything they need from their diet.

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Caring for a senior dog

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Thanks to better dietary options and veterinary care, dogs are now living longer and more fulfilling lives.  However, dogs are now facing some age-related health problems such as arthritis, diabetes and gastrointestinal issues.

Thanks to better dietary options and veterinary care, dogs are now living longer and more fulfilling lives.  However, dogs are now facing some age-related health problems such as arthritis, diabetes and gastrointestinal issues. Therefore, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with how best to look after your dog in its older years.

“Senior

 

Choose the right diet  

A diet that supports the needs of your ageing dog is essential to keeping them healthy and feeling good. Older dogs won’t require the same amount of calories in their meal as a younger dog that needs to maintain high energy levels. If an older dog is fed a high calorie diet it may lead to weight gain, as many older dogs are less active and have a much slower metabolic rate. Our Senior Large Diets also contain optimal levels of fibre and prebiotics to help assist their digestion. Many older dogs may suffer from constipation and other gastrointestinal issues, so feeding them a diet with added fibre and prebiotics can help keep them regular.

Lots of senior dogs may also lose their appetite. This can be due to their fading sense of smell and taste. If this seems to be the case, mixing in some wet food to their usual meal can help tempt them due to the enticing aromas that wet food gives off. If they are still not eating, another issue may be to blame, so a trip to the vet is a good idea to rule out anything of concern.  

 

“Huskie"

 

Support their dental health

Dogs of all ages can suffer from dental problems but dental issues are even more common in older dogs. Plaque and tartar buildup can lead to gum infections, and it can be painful for your dog to eat at mealtimes. All Eukanuba™ Senior Diets use an S-shaped kibble that helps scrape away plaque deposits on your dog’s teeth as they chew. Our kibble is also coated in sodium polyphosphates that binds calcium in your dog’s saliva to stop tartar formation. Dental issues can also have the potential to lead to bigger problems, as many more serious concerns such as kidney disease can first present themselves as dental infections. If you’re finding your dog is struggling to chew or their breath is foul smelling, a trip to the vet should be your first point of call to rule out anything serious.

 

“Huskie"

 

Don’t skimp on the exercise

Even though older dogs may lack energy, exercising is important to keep them in shape. Exercise also helps maintain your dog’s muscle tone and joint health. As arthritis is a common issue for older dogs, making sure they’re getting a solid workout is a good way to help stop their joints from further deteriorating. But it’s important to not overdo exercise, as your older dog doesn’t have the same energy levels as it once did. Be sure to choose a comfortable walking pace for your dog and take them for gentle walks that aren’t too strenuous.

The day will come when your dog starts to show signs of ageing. Making sure you give your dog that little extra support to prevent any age-related health issues is important. Maintaining regular exercise and introducing a diet best suited to their life stage can keep your dog living well in their late teens.

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Top tips for senior dog exercising

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As dogs age, they can eventually become much more sedentary and won’t show the same high energy levels as they once did.

As dogs age, they can eventually become much more sedentary and won’t show the same high energy levels as they once did.  Even though you may think your dog is happy relaxing all day, it’s important to not skip regular exercise, as it is one of the best things you can do for your older dog’s health. Lack of exercise can make an older dog much more prone to weight gain and obesity, which can lead to an increased risk of other health issues, such as diabetes.

Check in with your vet

It’s important that you take your dog in for a checkup with their vet if you are considering a change to your dog’s exercise regime. This is especially the case if you are noticing your dog has put on some extra weight or if you see your dog struggling to get up because of sore joints.  

 

“Senior

 

Take it slow

An older dog won’t have the same energetic streak as they once did, so whether you are introducing regular exercise into their routine or readjusting their activity needs, you should take it slow. Take your dog for short, gentle walks at a pace that’s comfortable for them. It is important to be careful and keep an eye out for signs of fatigue and breathing, as you don’t want to overexert your dog.

How much exercise is too much?

The level of exercise your older dog requires depends on several factors, such as whether they are used to exercising, weight gain and certain health issues. Most of the time you will be able to tell when your dog has reached their limit and needs to take a break. Excessive panting or drooling can mean your dog is under a lot of stress and is heavily dehydrated. This can happen when the weather is hot, so don’t take your dog out to exercise in the heat. Limping or favouring one leg can be a sign to stop as it may mean they are experiencing inflammation or joint pain. Coughing can be a sign of heart or airway issues that are often common in senior dogs. Repeated coughing can be distressing for your pet, so if this keeps happening it’s a good idea to check in with your vet.

 

“Senior

 

Keep it interesting

To keep your dog interested in exercise, mixing up their usual regime can help. Besides walking, if your older dog can handle a short jog this can help give their joints a solid workout and help maintain their muscle tone. Swimming is also great for older dogs as it is a low impact workout that puts less pressure on their joints, which is especially good for dogs suffering arthritis.

Exercising your dog is important at any age. As your dog gets older, you should keep adjusting their exercise routine to suit their changing needs. This could mean exercising more or going for gentle walks around the block every second day. It’s important for owners of older dogs to know just how much exercise their pet needs.

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