Homemade Food for Elderly Dogs


Dogs older than seven years need to reduce fat intake, increase protein and incorporate vitamin C to slow their aging

  • Author: By EVA SAN MARTÍN
  • Publication date: August 30, 2013

The feeding of the elderly dog ​​must adapt to the age of the hairy diner. However, only half of the animal owners introduce the necessary changes in the diet of their dogs once they reach the age of seven. This article explains how to feed the old animal in three keys: reduce fat intake, increase the amount of protein and incorporate some vitamins that slow the dog's aging and help you to reach healthier and happier years.

Feed an elderly dog, a diet for them

Eight out of ten dog owners intuit that their furry friend will need a different diet when he enters his old age. However, only half of the owners of elderly dogs change their diet to their fatigue partners once the time comes, according to a study by Tuft University in the United States. "The majority of dog owners know that their elderly dog's food should contain fewer calories, but there are few who take that change into practice," summarizes veterinarian Lisa Freeman, who has coordinated the research.

The dog's food must change when he turns seven to take care of his health

A dog needs to introduce changes in its diet when it enters the canine age, that is, around seven years. The nutritional and caloric requirements are not the same for a puppy that grows at full speed, than for an adult or other elderly animal. The dog's diet, like the human one, must evolve with age.

Here are three keys to feed an elderly dog in a healthy way.

1. The diet of an elderly dog, less fat

A dog that enters its old age needs the same basic nutrients as the young dog. These fundamental ingredients in the diet of the older hairy friend include the proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals.

Carbohydrates are an important source of energy for the elderly dog. The aging hairy friend also needs vitamins and minerals: he uses them to make these proteins, hydrates and fats. So what should vary in the feeding of an elderly dog? The amount of these components in the hairy diner's plate.

The elderly dog ​​also needs fat to maintain its body temperature and protect itself from the cold when the thermometer falls. Fats, in addition, also help the fatigue partner to maintain their hair and canine skin.

The food intended for elderly dogs should be less energetic and contain less fat concentration

The physical activity of the dog entered in years, however, is usually reduced. This exercise brake implies that these animals also lower the rate with which they burn the calories of food. An aging dog, therefore, has more danger of being overweight. Therefore, the food intended for elderly dogs should be less energetic and contain less fat concentration.

The extra kilos do not benefit the older dog, as they increase the risk of suffering from diabetes or of aggravating their arthritis problems. So veterinarians They recommend reducing the amount of calories you eat by about 20%. Dog food manufacturers know this and often take these recommendations into account. Therefore, the diet for dogs senior It is low in calories, although higher in fiber to satisfy them sooner.

2. The diet of the elderly dog, rich in protein

The physical signs that warn that the animal ages are varied: white hair or white hair around the mouth and eyes, difficulties in performing the same physical exercise and problems hearing or seeing with the same clarity as before.

The diet of an elderly dog ​​must contain more protein, which counteract the deterioration of his muscles

Protein-rich foods for the aging dog help counteract the muscle damage the dog suffers senior. "The elderly animal needs to eat more protein to replace the losses of muscle mass it suffers," concludes a study by the University of Michigan.

The elderly dog ​​needs, like the young animal, proteins that help him transform the food he eats into smaller substances, which his body can take advantage of.

3. An aging dog needs vitamin C

Can body cells also turn years old. And, as it happens in man, the old dog suffers a loss of memory. Vitamin C helps delay brain wear, as it acts as an antioxidant. The Elder dog feeding, accordingly, should increase the amount of vitamin C. Some lipids, such as phosphatidylserine, also help keep canine neurons active.

The elderly dog ​​may suffer from Alzheimer's disease and have trouble getting his bearings. This cognitive dysfunction in dogs, or canine Alzheimer's, is suffered by one in two dogs over 15 years. In addition, it is not strange that an older dog shows something more grumpy, as happens to many humans as we turn years.

The dog's diet senior You should consider these changes. Some ingredients of dog food, such as tryptophan, help control the mood of the dog. These components also increase your sense of pleasure, so you will be calmer, and also contribute to the elderly dog ​​sleep better.

Chicken, quinoa and vegetables

  1. You can prepare the grilled breast, sealing on both sides, a couple of minutes per side and then, over medium or low heat, let cook covered, for 10 minutes.
  2. Wash the quinoa with a little water, drain well and cook, along with the rice, for about 20 minutes or until ready.
  3. Wash and disinfect vegetables and fruits. Remove stems and seeds, and chop everything finely. You can help yourself with a food processor to make it faster> Ground beef with sweet potatoes

  1. Cook the sweet potato in water and let it cool.
  2. Finely chop the kidney and mix with the meat mol> Scrambled eggs with quinoa and mushrooms

  1. Finely chop Shiitake mushrooms, zucchini and fennel.
  2. Cook the quinoa in water, for approximately 20 minutes.
  3. In a bowl, beat the eggs.
  4. Heat a pan, saute fast> Problems of elderly dogs

In the United States alone, the population of elderly dogs is estimated to be among 30% and 40%. 8 out of 10 pet owners understand that our elderly dog ​​requires a change in routine and feeding, however, less than 50% arrive to make the change.

The physiological changes that our pet goes through are natural, but, with an adequate diet it is possible to placate problems associated with aging, as well as allow prolong your expectation and quality of life. An elderly dog ​​will naturally lose body mass, its metabolism will be slower, its bones will become more fragile, and countless additional changes, which will make our dog not have the vitality it used to have.

A dog but old man is prone to overweight and obesity, even more so when maintaining a diet high in fat and calories, which are more difficult to process. This causes problems of diabetes, heart risk and, aggravates the problems associated with degenerative bone diseases. Also, loss of dental pieces can occur, which can hinder your food intake. If you want to know how to feed your puppy without teeth, check out this article we have for you.

An ideal diet that offers quality of life

An elderly dog ​​requires, on average, 18% less calories than a young adult dog. Your diet should be low in fat, with more quality protein, carbohydrates and fiber, and contain a greater supply of essential vitamins and minerals to delay the wear and tear of joints and bones.

If yours is your thing, that's fine, just make sure you offer a quality product specially formulated for senior dogs. There are several brands of premium and super premium dry food that offer exclusive low-calorie lines, from which you can choose.

But, if yours is a natural diet, learning to prepare a homemade food for our old dog must be a priority. Luckily, doing so is as simple as for an adult dog. We just have to follow these simple guidelines and we will have all the security of feeding our hairy with a balanced diet and ideal for their needs.

Feeding a senior dog

The formulation of a recipe for geriatric dogs should not be very different from that of a young adult dog. Moreover, several studies have shown that a higher protein intake in elderly dogsIt helps provide amino acids and other nutrients that help maintain, preserve and repair muscle tissue and other organs of the body.

You can offer a homemade meal with the following proportions:

  1. 45% quality lean protein
  2. 30% easily digestible carbohydrates
  3. 25% fruits and vegetables

Ideally, keep a high proportion of quality lean protein, between 45% and 50%, between 30% and 40% of easily digested carbohydrates and the difference in vegetable fiber of fruits and vegetables. Avoid foods such as broccoli, beans, or chickpeas, which although healthy and safe, produce gas and can be annoying for your hairy.

When is a dog considered elderly?

Determining the stage of seniority in a dog depends mostly on the life expectancy for the specific breed. In this way a toy dog ​​or small dog is considered an older adult from 11 and a half years old. A giant breed dog will be considered elderly from 7 and a half years.

Reducing physical activity implies a decrease in the ability to process and burn calories and fat. Thus, a senior dog requires fewer calories, but with quality protein and carbohydrates and fiber that help satiate hunger and allow easy digestion.

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3 weeks before

Is your dog older? Well, I'm going to give you Tips for feeding an elderly dog. Feeding your pet is a priority issue for any responsible owner. When your pet gets older you must adapt their food to their vital stage.

Many people believe that they can continue to feed their dog the same and do not introduce any changes in the diet of their dogs when they get older. Well you must be clear that it is a mistake and you can harm your health.

Keys to feed a senior dog

When a dog ages its needs change, changes in food need to be introduced when they reach age seven.

With 7 years or more, the nutritional needs of your pet have nothing to do with those of for example a puppy that is in the process of growth. The diet of your pet as well as that of people should change and adapt to each stage.

One of the important keys is decrease the amount of fat in your diet. A dog needs fats, proteins, minerals, vitamins and hydrates to be healthy.

Hydrates are a fundamental source of energy for an older dog. The minerals and vitamins will be used to make the necessary nutrients so that your dog is healthy and very strong.

So, to feed your pet well you have to vary the proportion of those components.

Your dog you will need fats To keep your body temperature stable and protect yourself from winter temperatures, it will also be important to keep your hair and skin perfect.


At this point in his life, Your dog will do much less physical activity. It will begin to burn fewer calories so that the risk of being overweight will increase due to the decrease in energy consumption.

It is essential that your dog eat I think with less concentration of fat because it will not burn easily.

How the diet of an elderly dog ​​should be

The diet must be monitored because excess weight will increase the risk of diabetes, or worsen cases of arthritis. Ideally, reduce calories by 20%, in fact there are feed designed for senior dogs that will meet all your dietary needs. The food for an older dog should be low in calories and with a high percentage of satiating fiber.

Another fundamental aspect of the diet is the protein intake. Old age is usually reflected in certain signs such as gray hair near the mouth, and the eyes, difficulty performing intense physical activity and even problems seeing or hearing clearly.

Proteins are essential to counteract the muscle deterioration of an older dog, and help replenish the loss of mass.

Your dog will need these nutrients for the body to function perfectly. So opt for a quality meal with a contribution between 20 and 3% protein.

An important recommendation is that you can take vitamins. Weather can wreak havoc on your pet, one of the symptoms is memory loss.

You can give it a higher amount of vitamin C that will delay brain wasting as it is an effective antioxidant.

There are some lipids called phosphatidylserine that will maintain the neuronal activity of your dog. When a dog grows older, he will suffer from mood disorders.

You may notice your dog something more moody, ingredients like tryptophan will help keep your friend's mood in check. This way you will help him to be calmer, at ease and he will sleep great.

Any change in diet should be assessed by your veterinarian. Do not make this decision unilaterally, or buy the first food you see.

Take your pet to the doctor to do a check-up, assess their needs and depending on their age, race, state and volume of physical activity, the professional will advise you to make a progressive change in your diet.

Take care of your furry friend as he deserves so that he has a long, healthy and happy life by your side.

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Share your experiences and so together we can learn to take better care of our furry friends. Do you want to know more about care for your older dog? I tell you s How to take care of your dog if he has osteoarthritis.

Why doesn't an older dog eat?

There are several reasons. When a furry is already a senior dog, he loses the faculty of sight, hearing and smell. To a greater or lesser extent depending on your physical condition, as the days go by it will cost you more to enjoy your meal and even find it. Yes, your dog may not want to eat because he is not realizing he has food in front of him.

If you have lost a lot of vision, try not to change your home furniture too much. Your colleague knows instinctively where everything is, but if you move the tables or chairs, you will end up stumbling. If you take too many hits, you will end up deciding to move less. The best thing you can do is leave everything as he remembers it, something also applicable to his feeder and his drinking fountain, do not move them. If you do, help him get to them.

Feed your old dog with special food for him

When you fail your nose, you may not be able to appreciate the taste of dry food. The best thing you can do is to try homemade and moist recipes, with foods suitable for feeding served warm, so that they smell.

Some great recipes that you can make at home include beef, chicken or white fish, always well cooked and accompanied by pasta, rice or vegetables that nourish you and give you fiber to relieve any intestinal problems. Whenever you decide to cook something for him make sure they are served well cooked and without any bone or spine. In the case of rice or pasta, spend more than the bill, to make it easier to chew.

To ensure that you are not affected by any allergies and that what you feed him is the best for him, contrast these homemade menus with our online veterinarians. Leave your question and you will confirm what to feed according to your age, your weight and your race.

In addition to giving this type of food, change your usual diet and serve dishes specially prepared for senior dogs. They know and smell more intensely, which is sure to encourage your colleague to try a bite again. Most often, following these tips, making it easier for him to access food and giving him a richer and tastier meal, does he eat again, but what if he still doesn't eat?

Be careful that old dogs do not become dehydrated

If several days pass without your dog eating, it can become dehydrated. If this is the case and you have not approached your feeder or drinking fountain for a long time, leave a question to our online veterinarians. Dehydration is a serious problem in dogs that must be stopped as soon as possible. The specialist will examine the condition of your hairy and prescribe some medication or food supplement to restore appetite.

We repeat a lot in this article about having a professional. The truth is that, at these ages, more than ever, it is essential that all the decisions you make for your health are contrasted with a veterinarian, so that your friend lives longer with an iron health.

During this consultation, your veterinarian may discover that your dog does not eat because he is depressed, what can we do to encourage him?

My dog ​​does not eat because he is depressed or because he is old?

As your hairy gets older he loses faculties, which can make him sad. That is why you cannot fall asleep to the laurels and allow them to spend all day lying on your sofa. Approach him Give him lots of love and take him for a walk even if you think he doesn't want to. Of course, if he can't run that he doesn't, don't force him to walk more than the bill, but you have to keep playing with him, taking him for a walk and spoiling him a lot.

We tell you because many PetLovers believe that, at these ages, their dogs need absolute rest. But a furry is not a human, it is an animal that has to be exercised and enjoyed outdoors.

In summary: give him a rich and fragrant diet, facilitate access to his food and do not neglect his exercise so he does not get depressed, so he will eat again. Count on our online veterinarians at all times to not take a single false step, because your best friend still has many good years by your side.

Have you been left with doubts? Ask our veterinarians: