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Should I switch to senior dog food?

Share advice for keeping your aging dog happy and healthy

  
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Natcho

LabraDORK
 
 
Barked: Thu Jan 26, '12 5:55pm PST 
It feels weird...considering Natcho a senior. She is now 7 years old. It feels like just yesterday her and I were only wee little puppies, I got her when I was 8 years old. Her and I were (and are) inseparable.
Although I hate to think that my doggie is getting up there in age, I feel like maybe it is time to switch to senior food. Or should I wait a bit? She isn't very active since we no longer go to the dogpark...but she does get brisk daily walks. She's had some problems with soreness in her hips but she's been fine for a couple years.
Should I switch to senior food?
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Trixie Bean!

none so blind as- those that will- not see
 
 
Barked: Fri Jan 27, '12 11:03am PST 
Personally, I don't really believe in feeding senior food thinking. In most cases id just suggest feeding a little less of the food the dog is already on. Its never made sense to feed senior food. It has less fat and protein which, when a dog is at an age where they will lose muscle mass and body condition, surely isn't helpful!

shrug My Trixie girl is 11 now and still eats "normal" food.. She just eats a little less to correlate with her lower activity levels smile .
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Bruno CGC

Honorary Kelpie
 
 
Barked: Fri Jan 27, '12 12:43pm PST 
Yeah, I agree with Trixi. A lot of the marketing claims for senior formulas are just a lot of hot air. It's their normal food, decrease the fat/protein, add more fiber (to decrease kcal per cup so you don't have to feed less) and throw in a little glucosamine and chondroitin (though there's so little, and it degrades in processing, so it might as well not be there at all.)

And then they charge extra for it.

Phooey.
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Member Since
01/03/2012
 
 
Barked: Fri Jan 27, '12 2:56pm PST 
I agree dogs don't need a senior food, they need more protein not less as they get older. I have a 18yr old border collie, sheltie mix that has been on raw for most of her life, if anything I give her more to make up for muscle wasting that senior dogs get. Cindi
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Ginger DSA- ThD TT CGC - &hearts

My Angel
 
 
Barked: Sat Jan 28, '12 1:31am PST 
I've never used a senior food. I actually found that my senior dogs needed HIGHER protein and more calories as they got older, whereas a lot of senior formulas are lower protein. I eventually ended up switching my two previous senior dogs to grain free (and even higher protein) and they did quite well on it.

Edited by author Sat Jan 28, '12 1:32am PST

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Hazel

Noise Police
 
 
Barked: Sat Jan 28, '12 2:50pm PST 
I agree with the others. The real problem in the senior years is often weight gain, which is likely due to less activity, possibly combined with a slowing metabolism. (However, note that weight gain could actually be water retention due to an underlying health condition, so remember that it is especially important to do wellness exams as your dog ages!) In that case, the dog doesn't need less protein - it needs fewer calories, either by feeding less or switching to a lower-calorie food. High-protein foods *tend* to be high-calorie (400 per cup), but that is not always the case - for example, Taste of the Wild or reduced fat formulas. I don't plan on changing anything in the senior years unless there is loose stool or weight gain.

Edited by author Sat Jan 28, '12 2:52pm PST

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Natcho

LabraDORK
 
 
Barked: Sat Jan 28, '12 3:12pm PST 
Thank you guys for the lovely information. way to go I appreciate it dearly.
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♥CHLO- E♥

Chloe's got Mom- wrapped around- her paws
 
 
Barked: Sat Jan 28, '12 7:27pm PST 
Chloe has been on Avoderm Ground Chicken & Brown Rice formula for seniors. I add a little bit of boiled chicken (ground up in the food processor) to her food - 1/3 a cup 4 times a day.

She is also on vitamins, proviables & Dasaquin.

It was hard (psychologically) to switch her to a "senior" formula but since Eukanuba wasn't available for nearly 4 months & we researched the food - I think it's good - when Eukanuba disconnectued we were lost - so we went to Wellness - which went RIGHT THROUGH Chloe - I was going to put her on regular Avoderm but the fat content was WAY too much so we went to the Senior formula - it's hard to get but (thank God) she likes it - along with a bit of boiled chicken of course!

I think even tho it was hard FOR ME - that it works for her.

Each pup is differenthappy dancehappy dancehappy dancehappy dance
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Sara

Live life to the- fullest
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 30, '12 6:14pm PST 
Go to www.dogaware.com. Mary Straus has a great article with references regarding senior dog food and the latest research that indicates that even a senior dog needs a lot of protein. My Sara was, I believe, poisoned by chichen jerkey from China during the summer, had all the symptoms and got very sick even though she was a healthy year and a half old dog, and we're now trying to lose some weight due to the medications used to save her life. Mary was great in answering all my questions regarding protein, fat, carbs, and proper weight loss.
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Nikki

794846
 
 
Barked: Wed Apr 4, '12 3:16pm PST 
Please be careful. I switched my Lab to Pedigree Senior and her hair fell out.
After that both my dogs were diagnosed with lymphoma cancer.
Learning about Lymphoma I found dogs should not eat grains.
They should be eating protein.
I found a food called California Natural - Herring and Sweet Potato
It was amazing, my bald lab looked like a beautiful shiny seal in 2 weeks.
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