Small breed dogs, just like their larger counterparts, have different nutritional needs as they age. What worked for them when they were puppies may not be the best choice now. Even the most energetic small breed dog will have differing caloric and nutritional needs as they age. Choosing the right food can be a challenge when you’re faced with so many choices. Let’s take a look at what to look for in a senior dog food for the tiny guys.
Small Breed Dogs and Their Food
Just like big dogs, the little guys have different nutritional needs as they age. Dogs are just like us. As we age, we need more of some things and less of other things. The key is recognizing that and buying food for our elderly small breed guys. Let’s take a look at what you’ll want to look for when looking for a senior dog food for your little furry family member.
You’re going to see this in every article that I write about senior dog food, no matter the breed or size. Canine obesity an absolutely preventable precursor to all sorts of health problems, but it’s not taken very seriously. As dog’s age, they become less active, which means they need fewer calories. Whatever senior food your feed your little guy should be reduced calorie, so he doesn’t pack on the weight as he gets older.
All dog breeds, whatever their size, need adequate antioxidants in their body. Every animal, no matter the species, has a shelf life if you will. Antioxidants help battle free radicals in your dog’s body, which actively reduce cell health. Antioxidants have been proven to improve overall health, so look for senior dog food for your small breed guy which is high in antioxidant-rich ingredients like berries or that contains an antioxidant complex supplement.
It’s also important to note that antioxidants have been shown to help reduce the risk of developing cancer because the help destroy rogue cells. This is especially important to older dogs because cancer is a disease common to dogs.
Hair and Coat
This is a purely personal suggestion. For the past 20 years, I’ve been rescuing dogs. At one point, we had a total of 15 dogs in our home at one time – all small breed. 20 years and 20 small breed dogs later, I’ve noticed that the little guys tend to have skin and coat issues. Opt for senior food high in omega fatty acids to help keep the skin and coat healthy. The bonus to this is that it’s also good for practically every other part of them as well.
Senior Food for Small Breed Buddies
As your little guys age, it’s important to change their nutrition to go along with their changing bodies. Remember, your little guy is a lot different at 13 than he was at 13 months. They get old just like we do, and their nutritional needs change just like ours. Talk with your vet about your small breed dog and the type of senior food that is right for your pooch. The tips above can help you as you follow your vet’s advice on what foods he or she recommends.
Do you have a preferred senior dog food for small breeds? Share your recommendations or tips below.