Body Condition in Mature/Senior Dogs

As your dog ages, his nutritional needs change. Research has shown that targeted nutrition can help manage body condition problems such as obesity and loss of muscle mass,common concerns in aging dogs. Mature/senior dogs also benefit from special nutrition to help maintain bone and joint health.


Changes in metabolic rates can cause aging dogs to gain weight, even when they eat fewer calories. Such older dogs can benefit from eating a diet with reduced fat levels and lower caloric density than adult maintenance foods.

Recent IAMS research also indicates that overweight dogs can benefit from diets with L-carnitine. This vitamin-like compound is made in the body from the amino acids found in red meats, fish, chicken and milk. L-carnitine helps overweight dogs lose weight by escorting fat into cellular mitochondria where it is turned into energy.

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Loss of Muscle Mass

Protein is the building block of muscle. It is important for maintaining muscle tissues, muscle strength and mobility. Research conducted by IAMS has shown that mature/senior dogs that eat a higher-protein diet maintain muscle mass. By feeding your dog a diet with optimal protein levels for muscle maintenance, you can help him stay physically active.

This research is contrary to conventional opinion that mature dog foods should contain lower protein levels than adult maintenance formulas in order to avoid a progressive decrease in kidney function. Mature dogs who were fed a high-protein diet were shown to have stable kidney function.*

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Maintaining Bone and Joint Health

During the aging process, cartilage between joints often begins deteriorating. Optimal levels of vitamins and minerals can help promote the efficient production of cartilage and nutritionally support bone and nerve function. And a complete and balanced diet with essential fatty acids, like those found in vitamin-rich fish oils, nutritionally supports the natural healing process.

Some pet food manufacturers have endorsed reduced levels of calcium and phosphorus based on the belief that excesses of these minerals are harmful to the kidneys. However, research has shown that no damaging accumulation of calcium or phosphorus was found in the kidneys of older dogs fed diets containing maintenance levels of calcium and phosphorus for four years.*

*Finco DR. Effects of Aging and Dietary Protein Intake of Uninephrectomized Geriatric Dogs. American Journal of Veterinary Research; Vol. 55, No. 9. Sept. 1994

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