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Tips on Caring for Your Senior Dog

4 tips to keep your old friend in top shape
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  • As dogs become older, they typically need fewer calories from fat, but protein is critical to their diet.
  • Senior dogs need an annual visit to the vet, even if there are no visible health problems.
  • Always have your dog checked out by a vet before training or fine-tuning for hunting season.
  • A senior dog doesn't equal a slow dog; there are merely a few more precautions you can take.

A senior dog may not show the outward signs of aging for years to come. However, waiting until your dog's behavior indicates an advanced age to move him to a senior formula may hurt him in the long run. Senior dogs need the nutrients specifically made for them in specialized dog food, and may need other medications and vitamins.

As dogs become older, they typically need fewer calories from fat, but protein is critical to their diet to ensure proper maintenance of muscle tissue, according to the experts at Eukanuba. Reducing protein at the same rate that fat is reduced can result in deterioration of muscle mass needed for vitality throughout the senior years.

Dog foods on the market now are made for specific needs for your dog. Today's dog foods help senior giant breed dogs stay in great shape by caring specifically for their joints. Large breed dogs still needs strong cartilage and joints to support that weight. Some are fortified with glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, which helps maintain cartilage resilience and strength.

Even dog biscuits don't have to be empty, tarter-producing calories. You can give in to "sad eyes" without hindering your dog's health, provided you don't overindulge your dog. More and more treats now target overweight dogs, aging dogs, dog dental care, and a healthy digestive tract.

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