As your pet gets older, you may start to notice gradual changes.
They might start eating less, playing less, and sleeping more. You may even see some gray hair coming in.
But there are a few things you can do when it comes to care for your Senior pets.
- Use species appropriate food:
This means prey-like food broken up into:
- 60-70% muscle and bone by mass
- 20% organs
- 10% vegetation in the stomach and intestines
If you think about the ratio, vegetables shouldn’t make up half of the pet food. It should be in low proportion to their whole diet.
It also might help to rotate the meat selection. For example, one month do chicken, one month do beef, one month do turkey, and switch back.
- Prevent obesity by lessening food as activity declines:
As your pet ages, their activity will most likely start to gradually decline. When this happens it is wise to start feeding the amount that is quickly eaten by your pet. Take into account how much is eaten within 5 minutes and start giving that amount when feeding.
A good measure of weight:
Dogs: A normal, indented, or at least parallel waist with no bulges.
Cats: No fat pad on the lower belly and no bloated belly.
Both dogs and cats: A spine whose bumps you can feel with moderate pressure. Too skinny makes a prominent bumpy spine and too fat makes it hard to find those bumps.
How often to feed:
- Under 30 lbs: twice daily
- Over 30 lbs: once daily
- Aid Their Digestion:
As your pets get older, it can be harder for them to digest food. This can be helped by adding enzymes to each serving. Enzymes help to extract nutrition locked into food.
The addition of enzymes can lead to better digestion, resulting in cutting back on their portion sizes.
Probiotics can be a regular addition to all animals, senior pets are no exception. You can usually find enzymes and probiotics together in one supplement.
You can also add a good source of essential fatty acids of the omega-3 class. These are anti-inflammatory and also help their immune balance and coats.
Senior Dog/Cat Joint Help:
As your pets age, joint pain starts to become a problem. Making sure that they get regular exercise is important to help loosen up their bodies as best as possible.
It may also help to give your dog a joint supplement. This can help to ease the pain they may start to feel as they age.
Ultimately it’s important to recognize that aging will happen whether we (or our pets) are ready. If we at least have an idea about how to ease their aging, it will help how they feel overall.