They’re our best friends, so of course we want to support our dogs so that they can live as long and healthy a life as possible. This means keeping your senior dog active, of course. It also means paying attention to their changing nutrition requirements.
Nutrition requirements for senior dogs are important to follow to help your dog stay healthy. It’s always best to talk to your vet about specific questions, but senior dogs often need a special diet and supplements to maintain optimal health.
Nutrition Requirements For Senior Dogs
As dogs get older, their nutrition requirements change. Since their energy levels and exercise may be lower, they often need fewer calories. They also need more protein (not less, like we once believed). In fact, according to the American Kennel Club, older dogs need about 50% more protein to maintain their muscle mass.
Note that younger senior dogs may be overweight, but elderly dogs often struggle with being underweight. This is one of the many reasons why you should be seeing your vet on a regular basis as your dog ages (see more tips to help your senior aging here).
You may also notice that your mature dog has less of an appetite or less interest in food. Again, we can’t stress enough the importance of talking to your vet about any changes you see in your dog (of any age). That said, sometimes you just need to make their food more palatable, maybe by warming it up, or to make it easier to eat, maybe by adding water or switching to smaller sized pieces.
You can also make it easier for your older dog to eat, by putting their food on a raised platform so they don’t need to stoop over (another good idea for dogs of any age!)
Nutrition Supplements For Senior Dogs
We bet that the older you get, the more you’ve become aware of your own diet, and the need for certain supplements to help combat aging-related issues like arthritis, joint discomfort, and slower digestion. And your dogs are no different! Many commercial dog foods in particular don’t have all the nutrients necessary to help your older dog live their best life, which is why we started our journey to provide all dogs (and not just our own) with better supplements.
First and foremost, there’s no doubt that Omega-3 fatty acids are vital to dog health (just like they are to our health). According to the AKC again, “omega-3 fatty acids probably play an important role in senior diets because they may help combat both osteoarthritis and especially cognitive losses.” That’s why we include Omega-3 fish-based oil in all our supplements (learn more about why omegas are important for senior dogs here).
Note that we only source from wild-caught, mercury- and heavy-metal-free Alaska pollock harvested from the Alaskan Bering Sea and Aleutian Island Fisheries. These fisheries are managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Services (NMFS) and certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (COC# MSC-C-52212). We’re committed to using this sustainable source to help reduce pressure on salmon and krill stocks.
Beyond Omega-3s, we offer different supplements to match your senior dog’s unique needs:
- Hike Again is formulated to support healthy joints, boost mobility, and improve the quality of your dog’s life. By combining an optimal blend of 100% active ingredients (without added fillers, gums, preservative, sugars or colours), it supports mobility, joint function and cartilage health in older canines,
- Shield Again is the first Canadian Veterinary Health Product developed with DE111®, a clinically proven probiotic that helps to maintain healthy digestion, immunity, and nutrient absorption in dogs. It is formulated to support your mature dog’s immunity and digestive systems by providing a perfect combination of probiotics, antioxidants, amino acids and fatty acids.
- Sharp Again (coming soon) is formulated to support normal brain function, cognitive health, and regular sleep patterns. Many dogs experience behavioural changes as they age. If your senior dog is less interactive with your family, often seems confused, or has disrupted sleep patterns, Sharp Again could help.
All of our formulas are recommended for dogs seven years and older, dogs with outdoor lifestyles, and working or active dogs. And of course (cue the broken record), be sure to talk to your vet about any concerns you may have about your senior dog’s health or diet.