Saturday, July 17, 2010

Senior Dog Nutrition Needs and Prescription Diets for Senior Dogs

Pictured here is my beloved Ariel, blowing out the candles on her birthday cake at 14 years.... Ariel lived to a vibrant old age and was still running and playing as a senior. Senior dogs need more nutrition than ever. Unfortunately, most premium packaged Senior Dog foods have reduced nutrition and more fillers. Many times senior dogs are overweight but that doesn't mean they should eat less nutritious food. What that means is you need to feed less of it.

Senior dogs need a diet custom-tailored to their health condition. It is very important to get a blood panel on your senior dog so you can be sure you are aware of any potential health issues. Many times people are afraid to get the tests done because they are afraid of what they might find out. But the truth is, many diseases, when caught early can be treated successfully. For example, the liver can actually grow new tissue and repair itself IF you start using liver support supplements and change your pet's diet early on. Be sure to get a complete blood panel, including thyroid along with a urine test to check on your pet's overall health. Pets won't often act like they are sick until disease has set in so a laboratory test is the best way to find out your pet's health status.
Many senior pets have joint issues and arthritis so it is highly recommended that you use a purified, effective omega oil. Amazing Omegas is a highly potent, purified omega 3 fish oil that has been used with thousands of cats and dogs with much success. Pet owners can often see results in just a few days. Senior pets will quickly show an improvement in coat quality and flexibility. If your pet is acting stiff or showing signs of difficulty getting up, we highly recommend using  Arthrosoothe along with the Amazing Omegas.
Give your senior pet plenty of fresh vegetables. If you don't have time to steam them, then take frozen vegetables such as chopped broccoli or french style green beans and let them defrost in the refrigerator. Mix a small amount into your pet's dog food. Most pet owners are surprised that their dogs will actually eat vegetables---don't just use baby carrots, it is the green vegetable that provide vitamins, fiber and extra nutrition to your senior dog's diet.

Finally, be careful about using "senior diets". It is much better to use a healthy diet and then use less of it. You can use green vegetables as a healthy way to fill up your pet rather than giving them food that contains such "fillers" as peanut hulls or beet pulp. Senior diets tend to be lacking not only in calories, but everything else. If your pet is on a prescription diet, the best thing you can do is to schedule an appointment with a veterinary professional to develop a healthier alternative. Prescription diets are made for your convenience to address a specific problem. However, in trying to help the "mass market" and make them convenient for you, they end up skimping on what really counts--good nutrition. Check out the labels---generally they contain artificial ingredients, byproducts, chemicals you can't pronounce, etc etc and these are for pets that already are compromised with a specific health condition.