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Feeding The Senior Pet

Senior dogs require a different diet for more than one reason

by Kirstie Jones BSc (Hons) RVN MBNA

Old age is not a disease in itself but there are numerous changes associated with dogs ageing and signs of deterioration can be slowed or minimised by feeding an appropriate diet.

Older dogs will have a tendency to slow down and choose to take less exercise. This leads to less calories being used by your dog and the chances of weight gain become quite high. Other side effects that indicate an accumulation of waste in a dog’s system are bad breath, poor coat quality, lack of vitality, stiffness and excess body odour. Accumulation of waste within a dog’s system can occur due to improper diet coupled with reduced ability in a senior dog to eliminate waste.

Senior dogs require a diet containing a controlled level of fat to avoid excessive weight gain. But also they require a diet containing a moderate level of a highly digestible protein source, which will help to maintain optimum muscle mass, while  ensuring their digestive system is not overloaded which can cause a buildup of metabolic waste.

At Burns Pet Nutrition we recently carried out a geriatric feeding trial for dogs aged 9 years and older.  In the trial we focused on dogs not previously fed on Burns and offered our new variety of food, Adult Duck and Potato in the Free From range. Recently there has been a growing trend for grain free natural pet food diets. At Burns we’ve been using grains in our foods for over 25 years and are big believers in the power of grains. However, we released a grain free alternative to our usual Burns diets – due to popular demand.

This diet is formulated with high quality ingredients, easily digestible, with controlled levels of protein and fat ensuring a dog’s daily needs are met but not exceeded.  Our Free From Range is formulated with Buckwheat – a fantastic alternative to grain. Despite its name, buckwheat is in fact a fruit seed. Buckwheat has traditionally been used for many years in human nutrition and has many similar health benefits to grains.

We should never underestimate the power of good pet nutrition. A quote from one customer participating in our feeding trial highlighted how important correct nutrition can be to a senior dog;

“Since being on the Burns diet Megan is a completely different dog! She is now much nimbler and has started enjoying short bursts of play from time to time –  which, for a lady of advancing years, she is almost 15, is something I never thought I would see again.” – L Rozhon December 2018

 

If you need more advice on how to feed your senior dog, please contact our team of nutritionists on our free helpline.

by Kirstie Jones BSc (Hons) RVN MBNA

I work at Burns as a Nutritional Advisor, mainly on the Burns pet food nutrition helpline, assisting customers with various enquires they have on their pets which is so rewarding, knowing you are helping to make a difference.

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