Practical information about the nutritional needs of cats and dogs at each life stage, including growth, maintenance, reproduction and aging.
Aging is not a disease, although it is often associated with health problems. Nutrition can play a powerful role to help maintain health and optimal body condition, address age-related health issues before they occur, reduce the risk of weight gain or obesity, and possibly add more quality and longevity to a dog’s life.
A Purina study showed an average 25% decrease in energy needs in 11-year-old dogs compared to 3-year-old dogs of the same breeds, which may contribute to the tendency for senior dogs to become overweight.
|Dog Breed Size||Age Considered Senior|
"Senior dogs tend to gain unwanted weight, so our goal is to keep [dog’s name] in ideal body condition. It is easy to regularly monitor [him/her] at home ꟷ simply check [his/her] waist, tummy tuck and feel the ribs. Feeding a senior dog food that is lower in calories and fat while providing increased levels of protein and antioxidants may help keep your dog in ideal body condition."
A useful tool to monitor cognitive function in dogs.
Protein is a key nutrient for dogs and cats and a source of amino acids, the 'building blocks' used to build new proteins in the body. Irrespective of the pet’s age, protein plays many important roles in the body.
Although there are many benefits to maintaining a healthy weight in pets, many owners do not understand what a healthy weight is or the benefits for pets.
A visual aid to the Purina Body Condition Score System for dogs.
Assess your dog's Body Condition in just 3 simple steps.
Debraekeleer, J., Gross, K. L., & Zicker, S. C. (2010). Feeding mature adult dogs: Middle aged and older. In M.S. Hand, C. D. Thatcher, R. L. Remillard, P. Roudebush, & B. J. Novotny (Eds.). Small animal clinical nutrition (5th ed., pp. 273─280). Mark Morris Institute.
Kealy, R. D., Lawler, D. F., Ballam, J. M., Lust, G., Smith, G. K., Biery, D. N., & Olsson, S. E. (1997). Five-year longitudinal study on limited food consumption and development of osteoarthritis in coxofemoral joints of dogs. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 210(2), 222─225.
Kealy, R. D., Lawler, D. F., Ballam, J. M., Mantz, S. L., Biery, D. N., Greeley, E. H., Lust, G., Segre, M., Smith, G. K., & Stowe, H. D. (2002). Effects of diet restriction on life span and age-related changes in dogs. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 220(9), 1315─1320. doi: 10.2460/javma.2002.220.1315
Laflamme, D. P., Martineau, B., & Jones, W. (2000). Effect of age on maintenance energy requirements and apparent digestibility of canine diets. Compendium of Continuing Education for the Practicing Veterinarian, 22(Suppl 9A), 113.
Pan, Y., Larson, B., Araujo, J. A., Lau, W., de Rivera, C., Santana, R., Gore, A., & Milgram, N. W. (2010). Dietary supplementation with medium-chain TAG has long-lasting cognition-enhancing effects in aged dogs. British Journal of Nutrition, 103(12), 1746─1754. doi: 10.1017/S0007114510000097
Pan, Y., Kennedy, A. D., Jönsson, T. J., & Milgram, N. W. (2018). Cognitive enhancement in old dogs from dietary supplementation with a nutrient blend containing arginine, antioxidants, B vitamins and fish oil. British Journal of Nutrition, 119(3), 349─358. doi: 10.1017/S0007114517003464
Smith, G. K., Paster, E. R., Powers, M. Y., Lawler, D. F., Biery, D. N., Shofer, F. S., McKelvie, P. J., & Kealy, R. D. (2006). Lifelong diet restriction and radiographic evidence of osteoarthritis of the hip joint in dogs. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 229(5), 690─693. doi: 10.2460/javma.229.5.690