Eukanuba.com gave us some great information on caring for your aging dog. I found it interesting to think about what time and what schedule you feed them on. They suggest this to not cause your dog to be overwhelmed with the amount of food in the bowl. This was great information for me. We all love our dogs and as they get older they need extra attention sometimes. They have been great companions for us so we need to be a great companion to them as they live out their lives!!
Signs of Aging in Dogs
They find that small and medium breeds begin to show signs of aging at about 7 years; large and giant breeds show signs of aging at about 5 years. Telltale signs may include a dull or dry coat, flaky skin, joint stiffness, energy loss, weight gain, increased water intake, digestive problems, frequent constipation, and loss of muscle. These may signal the body's inability to rejuvenate its cells.
The Senior Dog’s Diet
Regardless of their age, all dogs need quality food. Good quality food will provide help with:
- Maintain muscle tone
- Maximize digestion
- Retain ideal body weight
Timed Feedings for Your Senior Dog
Because aging dogs generally eat less than their younger canine friends, it could be helpful to provide two or three meals each day. Try a morning/evening schedule or a traditional breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That way, the food in the dish isn't so overwhelming, and it’s fresher and more appealing. Timed feedings have the added benefit of increasing your dog’s metabolism, which will help her maintain her ideal weight.
While the calendar might say that your dog is ready for retirement, her body needn’t be. By feeding her a diet of premium dog food specially formulated for her age, you’ll help keep her active, healthy, and happy.