There is a saying: “Everyone wants to grow old, nobody wants to get older!” This applies not only to us humans, but also to dogs. First of all, the question arises when is mine Dog actually old, was it just a puppy? Unfortunately, there is no clear statement on this. But there is an old rule: the bigger the dog, the sooner it becomes a senior. For example: giant breeds such as the Irish Wolfhound or the German Great Danes have a life expectancy of 8 to 10 years and are already considered senior dogs at the age of 6 to 7. Medium-sized dogs from the age of 8, small dogs only at the age of 10.
But it also depends on the individual condition of the dog. It’s like with people, one is not good on foot at the age of 40, others are still climbing mountains at 80. It is partly in the genes, but mostly in the way of life and diet. But there are also ways to keep our best friend fit for a long time. If the dog finds it hard to get going after a rest period, it may be a sign of aging. If the lameness persists, this could possibly be a sign of osteoarthritis. But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing, because the earlier arthrosis is detected, the better the chances of treatment. Corresponding studies have also shown this. For example, the omega-3-6 and 9 fatty acids found in salmon oil, for example, contain DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which is involved in brain development. DHA is extremely important, especially for puppies, as this fatty acid supports optimal development of the nervous system and can be used preventively. Early precautions can therefore mean that fewer diseases of old age occur.
As your dog gets older, the diet should also change
This should lead us to the conclusion that it is also appropriate to revisit the diet of older dogs. The market has long recognized this and there is an incredible amount of special food for oldies, but all of this should be enjoyed with great caution! Not every ready-made food, or very few, are actually healthy for the dog. Unfortunately, it is a fact that 90% of all finished feeds on the market are industrial feeds. The animal feed industry thrives on flimsy promises and ignorance on the part of the keepers. It is advisable to consult a nutritionist or to do a feed check with us first.
The metabolism decreases in older animals, and with it the ability to metabolize nutrients sufficiently. It is therefore helpful to switch to a more digestible feed so that all important nutrients and minerals can continue to be absorbed. But there are also dogs that lose weight as they get older because they hardly eat anymore. This can have various causes, such as dental problems or kidney disease, which not only come with age but also often through years of feeding with inferior industrial feed / ready-made feed. It can help to give them higher-energy, i.e. fresh, food. But the best thing is that a canine nutritionist clarifies what is best for the old companion. Because every dog is individual.
In very few cases, veterinarians have the additional qualification to become a nutritionist. Nutrition is not part of the study, what a species-appropriate diet should look like, not at all. If the vet recommends a special senior food that he also sells himself, caution is advised! The first question is always: where is your nutritionist certification? If he doesn’t, then hands off. If he has one and recommends dry food, the question is: why is he recommend dry food? As a vet, he should know that dry food is not suitable for dogs. Trust me, the vet is only human, either clueless, greedy (or both) or good and interested in animal welfare.
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