Senior dog food is an excellent choice for your dog as he ages. Unlike breed-specific food, senior dog food actually does make a difference in your senior dog’s life. Food designed for older dogs has higher levels of key vitamins and minerals to help them maintain their health as they age. This one is much more than a marketing gimmick! Still, with so many out there, how do you know which one is best, especially for your big guy? Read on to learn how to find the best senior dog food for large breeds.
All Senior Dog Food Isn’t Created Equal
I said that senior food for dogs wasn’t a marketing ploy. I should rephrase that to say that not all senior food is marketing. All foods are not created equal for your aging pooch. Never trust the packaging. Always check the ingredients. Here are some tips to help you pick the right dog food for your older large-breed guy. These tips are especially important for large breeds, as they have more specialized needs as they age.
Talk to Your Vet
The first thing you want to do is talk to your vet. Your vet can tell you which foods they prefer and why. Talking with your vet can help guide you through the process of picking a food, and it can drastically cut the time and error that could otherwise be involved.
All senior dogs are prone to joint issues, but large breeds are practically guaranteed to have them. By the time they reach their golden years, the majority of large breed dogs have arthritis, so look for a food that is high in omega fatty acids to promote joint health. Some foods also have added glucosamine to help with aging joints. This is especially good for large breed joints.
Fewer Calories is a Good Thing
As dogs age, they become more prone to weight gain. This is bad for any breed, but for giant breeds, it’s disastrous. You never want a giant breed carrying even a little extra weight because it absolutely kills their joints. When looking for a senior dog food for your large breed dog, remember that fewer calories are better. Look for a weight management food for your senior dog.
Keep the Protein and Fat
Although you want a senior dog food that’s lower in calories, you don’t want to sacrifice too much protein and fat. Protein and fat are both the lion’s share of any dog’s diet, and should remain that way even into senior years. Never pick a food that is higher in carbs than protein and fat. At their cores, dogs are carnivores, and large breed dogs are going to need lots of protein and fat to maintain healthy muscle mass and adequate fats.
Senior Dog Food – Meeting Their Changing Nutritional Needs
As dogs age, their nutritional requirements change. As a result, it’s important to switch them to food that better meets their specific needs. This is especially true of large breed dogs. If your large breed dog is getting older, talk with your vet and start the discussion about which senior dog food could be a good fit. They’ll be able to guide you towards brands that are known to be excellent sources of nutrition, and they can help you decide which senior dog food can give your large breed dog the best nutrition.
Have you already found the best senior dog food for large breeds? Share your recommendations in the comments!