Canine Aging & Nutrition: Best Hill’s Foods for Senior Dogs in 2024 A balanced diet is the secret to healthy aging for senior dogs

Canine Aging & Nutrition: Best Hill’s Foods for Senior Dogs in 2024

As your dog ages, its dietary requirements and nutritional needs change. You need to choose your food wisely to address these needs, prevent health issues, and ensure longevity. This list of Hill’s Pet Nutrition products for senior dogs can help you cover all fronts.

Adopting a dog is a long-term commitment, but eventually, pet parents start enjoying the responsibilities it entails. However, over the years, you need to go the extra mile with canine care because the needs of a senior dog increase over time. Digestive issues, deficiencies, and picky eating are common in older dogs.

According to 2023 data, more than 1.5 million dogs were adopted in the US during the year, and more Americans chose to adopt adult dogs rather than younger ones. Statistics indicate more American households will have senior dogs in the coming years. 

Therefore, it becomes crucial for pet parents to learn more about aging behaviors, nutritional needs, and potential health issues in senior canines. Optimal diet is perhaps the most critical aspect because it determines the weight, health, and longevity of your canine companion.

Since seniors have a slower metabolic rate, they are likely to become obese or overweight. Additionally, they lose the ability to chew and digest food easily over the years. Geriatric canines generally require lower-calorie diets to prevent obesity and higher-fiber options to improve gastrointestinal health. However, you need to think beyond fruits and vegetables or one-size-fits-all canine diets.

According to Jenna White, Critical Care and ER vet technician, the ideal diet depends on your dog’s breed, current activity level, and illnesses. Your pet’s dental health is another concern. Some companies offer breed-specific products, food for active lifestyles, and diets for specific illnesses. 

Hill’s Pet Nutrition is a pioneering brand that brings a broad range of products for senior dogs. We will list a few products to keep your aging pet thriving and healthy in 2024 and beyond.

#1: Hill's Prescription Diet g/d Aging Care Canned Dog Food

Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine shares some valuable insights regarding the ideal diet for senior canines. Protein plays a vital role in building and maintaining muscles in aging dogs as they stop synthesizing enough. Hill's Prescription Diet g/d Aging Care Canned Dog Food offers moderate levels of high-value protein in the form of pork liver, pork by-products, and turkey.

Other ingredients that support an aging dog’s health include Vitamin E supplement, Niacin supplement, Ascorbic Acid (source of Vitamin C), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 supplement, Folic Acid, Thiamine Mononitrate, Biotin, Riboflavin supplement, Beta-Carotene, and minerals (Zinc Oxide, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, and Manganese Sulfate).

Besides considering the nutrients a senior dog needs, this product also reduces excesses that may harm their health. For example, they should be given controlled protein and minerals because too much can cause more harm than good. Hill's Prescription Diet g/d Canine is a balanced food that supports vital kidney and heart function in older canines for better overall health. 

The product is suitable for pets with sensitivity to dietary fat. S+OXSHIELD promotes a urinary environment that minimizes the risk of struvite and calcium oxalate crystals and maintains kidney health over time. Switching to this product can help ensure good health and optimal weight for your aging pet.

#2: Hill's Prescription Diet g/d Aging Care Dry Dog Food

If your senior canine does not find the canned variant palatable, you can opt for Hill's Prescription Diet g/d Aging Care Dry Dog Food. According to an article published in The Guardian, dry foods are more environmentally friendly than wet variants. Almost 90% of the calories in wet products are from animal ingredients, while the number is only 45% in dry diets.

Nutritionally, both canned and dry g/d aging care products offer the same value. You can rely on it to maintain healthy heart and kidney function in your canine companion as it ages. The controlled levels of phosphorus and sodium and moderate protein content are also beneficial for an aging dog’s overall well-being. 

Your pet will like its savory chicken flavor that makes mealtime enjoyable and encourages a nutritious and consistent diet for aging canines. Since this is a dry food, ensure that plenty of fresh water is available for optimal hydration because it is equally crucial for dogs.

Vikki Youngmeyer, a pet parent, notes that she feeds dry food to her dogs and always has fresh water around for them. Her dogs are smart enough to decide whether they want water before or after they eat. That means you need not worry about your pet falling short of hydration even when eating dry food. As long as you choose quality products, you can expect good results. 

#3: Hill's Prescription Diet b/d Brain Aging Dry Dog Food

Research shows that canine cognitive dysfunction is an age-related disease that affects 14–35% of the senior canine population. As a neurodegenerative disease, this condition is characterized by an increase in inflamed glial cells, and an accumulation of amyloid beta (Aβ1-42) and hyperphosphorylation of tau (P-tau).

As your dog ages, you will also notice changes in its behavior during social interaction with your family and outsiders. Since seniors become less active, the problem may be more pronounced in multi-age households that own young dogs, seniors, and puppies. A healthy diet can help your aging canine to cope with the changes. 

When it comes to choosing a diet for your senior dog, you should look for products that fortify the brain besides optimizing your pet’s physical health. Hill's Prescription Diet b/d Brain Aging Dry Dog Food is an ideal solution. This specialized formula offers clinically proven nutrition to maintain healthy heart and kidney function, reduce the occurrence of house soiling, and improve sleep patterns. 

It has omega-3 fatty acids that support cognitive function and brain health in aging dogs. Further, clinically proven antioxidants from fruits and vegetables provide a comprehensive nutritional solution and help combat the challenges of aging. S+OXSHIELD technology ensures optimal urinary health, while a balanced level of protein, sodium, and phosphorus enhances various physiological functions.

With this product, you can help your furry friend combat age-related changes and live a happy and active life as it becomes older. 

#4: Hill's Science Diet Senior 11+ Small & Mini Chicken Meal, Barley & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Canine aging is a complex process and depends on different factors, and breed and size are among them. According to studies, domestic dogs live up to an average of 12.71 years. The average lifespan increases as size decreases. In this context, smaller breeds are at a significant advantage.

Research suggests that big dogs tend to age faster, while small breeds may live longer, even up to 20 years. Longevity depends on genetic differences between breeds, but as a pet parent, you need to understand that even small dogs have specific requirements as they age.

Hill's Science Diet Senior 11+ Small & Mini Chicken Meal, Barley & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food is crafted to support healthy aging during the golden years of small and mini dogs. The small kibble is high in prebiotic fiber, ensuring easy digestion for small dogs. Additionally, this product contains omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil to support joint health.

Toy breed dogs can benefit from this formula as it has a balanced set of minerals to maintain a healthy heart, bladder, and kidneys. It offers omega-6s and vitamin E to nourish canine skin and coat. Your dog also gets a special blend of antioxidants with this product. These enhance its immune health and promote longevity.

Ingredients like chicken, barley, and brown rice make the product palatable, so even picky eaters will like it. Small breeds can easily chew and digest these ingredients, ensuring easy assimilation of the nutrients they supply. 

In conclusion, balanced nutrition is essential for all dogs, but it becomes even more crucial for seniors. Hill’s Pet Nutrition creates products optimized for the nutritional requirements and preferences of aging dogs. You can rely on these products to ensure the best health, nutrition, and digestion for your senior pet.

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