Medium Breed Mature or Senior Dog’s Nutritional Needs
Medium Breed Mature or Senior Dog’s Nutritional Needs

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Medium-Breed Mature or Senior Dog’s Nutritional Needs

Unlike larger-breed dogs that are considered mature at age 5, medium-breed dogs are usually called mature or senior at age 7. By this time, their nutritional requirements are changing. You can help keep your medium-breed dog active, happy and healthy with a specially formulated mature or senior diet that delivers highly digestible, enhanced nutrition.

 

 

The Signs of Aging in Medium-breed Dogs

Your dog might be aging in a number of ways. He may have a dull, dry coat and flaky skin, declining activity or weight gain, decreased immune system response, more frequent intestinal problems, joint stiffness and a loss of lean muscle mass. It’s true that a mature or senior dog generally needs fewer calories, but to address special mature or senior concerns, your dog still needs high-quality protein and carefully balanced nutrients.

 

 

What to Look for in a Mature or Senior Diet

What your medium-breed dog needs is a high-quality, balanced maintenance food formulated for his changing metabolism. Look for options with these age-essential dietary components:

  • Vitamin-rich fish oils for healthy skin, a shiny coat and overall health
  • Antioxidants such as vitamin E and beta-carotene to help boost the immune system
  • High-quality animal-based protein sources to help maintain muscle mass
  • A special fiber source, such as beet pulp, to help maintain intestinal health and enhance your dog’s ability to absorb age-essential nutrients
  • A special carbohydrate blend of healthy grains for sustained energy

These ingredients are the keys to mature or senior nutrition whether you feed dry or wet dog food or give your dog treats.

 

 

Special Needs in Medium-breed Mature or Senior Dogs

Older, less active dogs are prone to weight gain. Controlling your dog’s weight can help minimize health complications such as diabetes or joint stress. Your dog can benefit from a weight-control diet with these key characteristics:

  • A reduced fat level that still offers essential nutrients for skin and coat health
  • L-carnitine, a key nutrient that helps burn fat and maintain muscle mass during weight loss
  • Special carbohydrate blends that help maintain energy while managing weight
  • Vitamin-rich fish oils for overall health

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  • Your Senior Dog’s Health from 7 Years On
    Your Senior Dog’s Health from 7 Years On

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    Your Senior Dog’s Health from 7 Years On

    Keeping Your Senior Dog Healthy and Active

    It depends on the breed of dog, but your pet's senior years generally begin at age 7. Louise Murray, DVM, director of the ASPCA's Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital in New York City and author of Vet Confidential (Ballantine, 2008), tells you what you need to know to keep your older dog spry and happy.

     

     

    Senior Dog Health: Preventive Health

    At this stage, Murray recommends taking your dog to the vet twice a year. "So much can happen to an elderly dog," she says. Your veterinarian can take blood annually to test liver and kidney functions. "Discovering problems early is extremely important," she says. Your vet can be on the lookout for conditions that often affect older dogs, such as anemia and arthritis.

     

     

    Senior Dog Health: Urination, Bowel Movements, and Appetite

    Pay attention to what might be subtle changes in your dog's habits: Is she drinking more water or urinating larger amounts? These behaviors might indicate a liver or kidney problem. Have your dog's bowel movements shifted? This could indicate a digestive issue. Diabetes or digestive problems might cause your dog to eat more but still lose weight. Knowing the dog's patterns can help the veterinarian determine a course of treatment.

     

     

    Senior Dog Health: Flea, Tick, and Heartworm Medicines

    Continue to use preventive medicines.

     

     

    Senior Dog Health: Dental Health

    Clean your dog's teeth daily. If she has tartar buildup, you might need to have her teeth professionally cleaned at your vet's office, which requires sedating your pet.

     

     

    Senior Dog Health: Exercise

    Your dog is probably less active, so steady, moderate exercise is best for her now. Don't turn her into a "weekend warrior" who, after lying around on weekdays, accompanies you on a 10-mile hike on Saturdays. This is especially hard on an older dog's joints.

     

     

    Senior Dog Health: Diet

    Your veterinarian might wish to put your dog on a senior diet, such as IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Senior Plus. These formulations contain nutrients specifically geared toward older-dog health.

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