GERIATRIC NUTRITION

 
By Dre Janique Arseneau

Why must I change my aging pet’s diet?

Your dog or your cat is considered senior or geriatric when he has surpassed more than half of his life expectancy.  This age can vary between 7 to 9 years, depending on the breed and size of the dog. For aging pets, nutrition must be optimal to counter the aging process.  

In order to get the best food for your pet, we must make a well-personalized choice. Controlling the calorie intake is very important.  Aging animals have a tendency to slow down and are often fed too much and may become overweight which can exasperate other health issues such as osteoarthritis or the development of diabetes.

If you notice your dog or your cat vomiting more often, it is possible that your pet has more difficulty digesting certain foods.  A high digestible food may be offered and greatly appreciated.

Certain tests such as a blood work-up and a urinalysis can help your veterinarian choose the proper diet that is aimed for your pet’s specific needs.  There are several different therapeutic diets to choose from, such as, diets with natural supplements to help relieve pain caused by arthrosis, diets to reduce the levels of sugar in the blood for diabetic patients, diets to reduce anxiety in nervous animals as well as a diet to help reduce hormones that are over-excreted by the thyroid gland.