Providing the Right Diet for Older Dogs

Many people know that the right diet for older dogs is different from that of younger dogs. However, there are few that actually make the necessary adaptations.
Providing the Right Diet for Older Dogs

Last update: 10 September, 2019

Dogs’ bodies, as well as human bodies, have different needs during each stage of life. Therefore, it’s important to adjust the food they eat in order to meet their nutritional needs. Many people know that the right diet for older dogs is different from that of younger dogs. However, there are few that actually make the necessary adaptations.

Tips for providing the right diet for older dogs

Reduce fat

Over the course of their lives, dogs need less and fat because their bodies begin to exert less and less energy. That’s why it’s important to reduce the amount of fat they consume in their diets. As they reduce their physical activity, their metabolism changes. As a result, they can no longer burn off the same amount of fat as when they were younger.

A diet for older dogs.

One of the most common ailments that can result from poor nutrition in older dogs is obesity. This can turn out to be fatal for canines, and can also cause heart attacks, diabetes, and other health conditions.

Increase proteins

Given the muscle problems and degenerative illnesses that many older dogs suffer, it’s important to increase their protein intakeDoing so helps to counteract the effects of these conditions. Furthermore, proteins help their bodies transform food into smaller portions in order to better extract all of its nutrients.

Vitamin C

Dogs, just like human beings, tend to suffer from different neurological illnesses as they advance in age. Therefore, experts recommend increasing the amount of vitamin C they consume. This allows their neurons to relax and helps to prevent Alzheimer’s, memory loss and other related problems.

At the same time, an older dog’s diet should contain an increased amount of lipids, like phosphatidylserine. This aids in the proper functioning of your pet’s neurological system. Avoiding these types of illnesses improves your dog’s quality of life, meaning your pet can live longer and happier.


As the years go by, older dogs may begin to suffer changes in their mood and emotional state. It’s common for them to experience attacks of aggression and periods of depression or anxiety in which they lose their appetite. Therefore, veterinarians recommend increasing the amount of Tryptophan in their diets.

This is a product that can aid in controlling moods, therefore stabilizing unusual behaviors that come with old age in dogs. Be sure to consult with a professional first. A veterinarian will be the one to establish whether or not it’s feasible to address these problems through your dog’s diet. In some cases, stronger treatment is necessary.


An older dog’s physical strength is no longer what it was before. Their metabolism is much slower. Therefore, it’s important to design an effective exercise routine that allows them to burn calories better and stay active. This will also help them to maintain muscle strength, thus preventing degenerative illnesses.  


It’s important for our dogs to stay hydrated, no matter how old they are. The older dogs get, the more water they need to drink, because they become more easily dehydrated, among other things. What’s more, proper water intake helps to prevent neurological degeneration.


Once dogs reach the age of 7, it’s important to reduce their intake of doggy biscuits and other treats. These kinds of products have a high fat content and also contain artificial coloring, both of which can have negative effects on your dog’s health.

A beagle eating biscuit.


Change your dog’s food gradually

Any change you make in your dog’s diet should take place gradually. Introduce new foods a little at a time. Progressively mix the new food with the food your dog is already used to for a period of 7 days. This will allow your dog to get used to the new food, reducing the effect of the change.

Take your dog to the vet

Your dog’s veterinarian is a decisive factor in your pet’s health. It’s important to talk with the vet about the changes you should apply to your canine’s diet. Periodic check-ups with your dog’s vet are a must.

A poor diet for older dogs can lead to dangerous consequences in their health. This is the case when it comes to an out of control metabolism, leading to illnesses like obesity, depression, anxiety, and stress.

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