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Foods should not only provide energy to the body but must also support the muscular and skeletal structure. A proper diet consists of essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals that help the body function and strengthen the bones and muscles. Dogs must eat food that provides all-around nutrition to the body. The nutrients must protect the dog from diseases and help in overall growth. Below is a list of five power foods that you should feed your dog today!
- Eggshell Powder: After making your omelet, don’t throw away the eggshells. One of the primary constituents of bones is calcium, and eggshells are loaded with calcium. Dry the eggshells in an oven. Finely crush the eggshells in a grinder or blender. Add about half a spoon of the finely grounded powder to your dog’s food each day. You can store the powder in a plastic container for about 60 days.
You can also feed Taste of the Wild dog food to your dog. This canned dog food can provide calcium to your dog as well as provide them with ideal skin and coat.
- Meat: Meat and fish are rich in phosphorus and should be a vital part of every dog’s diet. Phosphorus supports bone growth and reduces joint pain. It also supports the nervous system and improves stamina in the body. The Purina Pro Plan dog food is also a good option to help support your dog’s joints. You can also consider giving them the PL360 Advanced Hip and Joint supplements for dogs.
- Veggies: Veggies like spinach and green beans have a healthy dose of magnesium, which is crucial for healthy bones. Magnesium helps the body convert calcium into a usable form. It also supports the heart and the nervous system.
- Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds are also a good source of calcium and support bone health. However, ensure that the level of nuts in the food is limited. The interaction between phosphorus and calcium should be controlled. An imbalance causes calcium deficiency.
- Sunshine: Well, it’s definitely not part of the diet, but sunshine helps the skin produce vitamin D which in turn helps in the absorption of calcium and bone growth.
Your dog’s health depends a lot on bone growth, and bone growth depends on the right number of nutrients in the food. A good diet contains essential nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Foods like meat, fish, veggies, nuts, and eggshells are good sources of the three nutrients but should be given as a balanced diet. Take your dog outside because sunshine helps absorb nutrients, ensuring that your dog stays healthy.
As it grows old you should take a few precautionary measures and should put certain checks in place. You can know more about them in the next section.
Do Senior Dogs Need Special Food?
Having a dog as a pet has its own advantages and disadvantages. While your dog acts as your best friend by giving you company when alone, you can also expect it to make exacting nutritional demands. The nutritional requirements of dogs are different from any other pets, and they become even more exacting as the dog grows old. If your dog is getting slower and older, you may be fretful about its diet. You may have even noticed that your dog no longer ate the way it used to, making it look as if it has given up on food. No matter what the case may be, you need to realize that your dog has aged and attained seniority.
The Hill’s Science Diet dog food is a good option when it comes to senior dog food. The Blue Buffalo dog food is another good feeding option for senior dogs.
When should you consider switching your dog's diet?
Switching your dog's diet is a tough decision, which depends greatly on the breed and weight of the dog. Fred Metzger, DVM, Diplomate ABVP says that larger breeds of dogs tend to age faster than leaner and smaller breeds. As a rule of thumb, dogs attain old age when they have reached half of their life expectancy. Bigger dogs have a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years, while smaller dogs have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years. Bigger dogs are considered “senior” when they are around 6 years, while smaller dogs are considered old at around 8 or 9 years. Dogs also develop kidney and liver issues, which may prompt you to change your dog's diet at some point.
What kind of food is suitable for senior dogs?
Since obesity and gastrointestinal problems are common in senior dogs, they should be given low-calorie and high-fiber diets. You must feed your dog with food that is appropriate to their life's stage. Healthy, low-fat, low-sodium snacks should be served to dogs when they age to prevent them from developing heart, kidney, and liver diseases. It is also important for you to ensure that your dog maintains a proper intake of water because the ability to maintain water balance reduces as they age. All dogs benefit from eating fruits and vegetables, especially when they are old and more susceptible to constipation. Fiber-rich foods such as wheat bran, steamed green beans, or canned pumpkins can do great for your dog's health. You should definitely focus on extra nutrients in the form of Vitamin E, beta-carotene, antioxidants, and Omega 3 fatty acids to boost your dog's immunity. Not only do these nutrients reinforce the immune system, but also burnish the dog's coat and skin, and assist in healthy digestion. You are sure to find several nutritional supplements on the market. However, it is always recommended that you consult a vet before buying them. In fact, vets can assist you in formulating a proper diet chart comprising homemade foods for your senior dog, and keeping health issues at bay.