Questions and Answers about Senior Dog Food
Quality dog food is important for every dog no matter his age. However, your furry friend’s eating habits and dietary needs may change as he gets older. If you have a mature dog, you may have some questions about why senior dog food is important, when to switch to senior dog food, and other key topics. Here are the answers to some questions you may ask about senior dog food.
Q: Is senior dog food necessary?
A: Yes! As dogs age, they have special nutritional needs that they didn’t have when they were younger. A senior dog food can help ensure that your dog receives the nutritional benefit he needs to keep him on the top of his game. These benefits include:
- Proteins to supply essential amino acids which help support muscle mass and key body functions such as the immune system
- Controlled levels of fat and protein to help support a mature, active lifestyle
- Gentle fiber blend to help support healthy digestion
- Naturally sourced Omega 3 & 6 Fatty Acids to help maintain brain, skin, and joint health
High-quality protein is also important for senior dogs for another reason. As dogs age, they tend to lose a little muscle each year. This is why a number of veterinarians believe that senior dogs may need even more protein as they age. Providing a high-quality dog food is an excellent way to maintain healthy muscle.
Q: When is a dog considered a senior?
A: The age at which dogs mature varies with the size of the breed: the larger the dog, the more quickly your dog becomes mature. In general, you can consider your dog a mature dog at the following ages:
- Large and giant breeds (over 50 pounds) —age 5-6
- Medium-size breeds (approx. 20 – 50 pounds)—age 8-10
- Small and toy breeds (under 20 lbs) —age 10-12
Q: Does my senior dog still need exercise?
A: Regular exercise is a great way to keep your dog active and help stimulate him with all the sights and smells in the surroundings. Good old-fashioned walks, fetch, and even a little running around the house is a great way to get your dog going. There are also a lot of fun puzzles and treat reward toys that encourage your dog to figure out how to get them out. These toys can also be great mental stimulation.
Reminder: If your best friend hasn’t been very active lately, be sure to start slow and build your way up into more playtime. Start with a five-minute activity, walk, or fetch for instance, and add five minutes every couple of days as long as he is comfortable and keeping up.
Q: How important is my senior dog’s weight?
A: A healthy weight is important at all life stages, but it is even more important with a mature dog. Being overweight places additional stress on your dog and may slow him down or limit his activity. Feeding guidelines on dog food packages are just that – guidelines. If your dog is overweight, you may need to reduce the amount you feed your dog if he is not as active as he used to be.
Q: What if my older dog no longer has much of an appetite?
A: Senior dogs can lose their appetite for several reasons. One reason is that they may have dental issues or jaw problems. In this case, you’ll want to feed your dog food that is easy to chew and tastes delicious enough to entice hesitant eaters.
Q: What is the best senior dog food for my furry friend?
Now that you know how important it is to feed your mature dog a food that supports his changing nutritional needs, it’s time to find the right formula for his needs. This food needs to be delicious, easy to eat, and provide all the nutritional benefits necessary to help your furry friend live a long, happy life.
These critical needs are why Bil-Jac has specially designed a dog food formula to help support the lifelong health of your best friend. Both Bil-Jac Small Breed Senior Dog Food and Bil-Jac Senior Select Dog Food offers a variety of benefits for your older dog:
- Delicious protein that senior dogs still need, sourced from real chicken.
- Less fat than our Adult Select formula.
- Contains a special blend of gentle fibers that help support healthy digestion.
Bil-Jac Senior Select also provides naturally sourced, guaranteed levels of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate and is a great option if you have multiple mature dogs in your family. Your mature dog still has plenty of love to give – so help give him plenty of years in which to do it!
If you notice that your dog is running less, moving more slowly, avoiding stairs or hesitating and not jumping, you may want to consider giving him a daily joint support product like BreakThru Joint Health & Immune Function Formula Superfood for Dogs. When used daily, this can help provide hip and joint support through a unique combination of ingredients. It is easily mixed with a small amount of water to give your dog a tasty addition to his meal.
Do you have other questions about how you can support your senior dog? Join our Best Friends Club today to receive our exclusive email newsletter full of articles on healthy habits, fun facts, and members-only discounts on Bil-Jac Dog Food, Treats, and other products.