Since pets age a lot faster than humans do, it is normal to ask yourself when is a dog considered a senior. The answer to this question depends a lot on the breed and size of your dog and, usually, the larger the pet is, the shorter its lifespan can be. Just as an example, a recent study showed that just 13% of giant dogs breed lived over 10 years. However, to help you figure out when your dog gets closer to seniority and when to switch to senior dog food, we’ve gathered some important information that should help you spot the changes taking place with your bet as it reaches seniority.
When you’re trying to map out how old your dog is and scale that in human years, the best thing to start with is forgetting the old myth that says 1 human year is the equivalent of 7 dog years. While there’s some truth there, this method is not accurate enough and it won’t enable you to clearly identify the moment when a dog turns senior. Also, you need to take into consideration that not all dogs age the same and just like people, they have a different pace of growing up. Some of them never do, actually, if you look at the Golden Retriever that always seems just like a child, having fun with every occasion. However, no matter if they never grow up, all dogs get old eventually and it’s a process you can’t reverse.
To make things even more complicated, the moment a dog turns senior is influenced a lot by size and weight. So, if you were expecting to find a quick formula that applies to all dogs, we are sorry to inform you that things do not work that way.
In order to get to the answer to this question, as we stated above, you need to take into consideration some factors regarding size and weight. For example, small breeds like Yorkie, Chihuahua or Pomeranian of 15 pounds or even less are considered seniors starting with the age of 11.
Larger breeds like the Beagle, Border collie or Dachshund, weighing between 16 and 50 pounds can start their senior interval at 9 years-old while Boxers, Golden Retrievers, and Greyhounds will start this process even earlier, at 8 years of age.
As you’d probably expect, the quickest interval from being a puppy to senior age for dogs comes with the really big breeds, of 80 pounds and more like the Mastiff, Great Dane or Irish Wolfhound. You can prepare to switch to senior dog food for these breeds when they’re 6-years-old.
Before we address the subject of what is the best wet dog food for senior dogs, to better understand the process of aging, we are listing some of the changes that dogs go through at this important age. The most noticeable ones are the dog’s muzzle turning grey or some level of sensory decline. Another sign of a dog reaching seniority is the lack of excitement over going out for a walk or less mobility when playing with toys and other dogs.
Adapting the diet to the different age stages of a dog is very important and it will enable your pet to have a more comfortable experience during the process. So, it is recommended by vets all over the world that you take senior wellness exams very seriously.
Believe it or not, the quantity of dog food is not that important when it comes to older dogs. They will never eat more than they need to and you won’t have to worry about that. However, the aspect you should focus on is the quality of the food you are feeding him. Getting the proper dog food means getting your dog nutrient adjustments for a digestive system that is getting slower and less capable of processing food properly. Higher digestibility is also a plus when it comes to senior dog food because it will make it easier for your dog to digest it. The softer texture of senior dog food is another advantage because teeth can be weaker with age. Joint supplements and other important minerals like antioxidants, MCTs and omega 3s are other factors that make the difference between regular dog food and the best senior dog food.
Hoping that you found this information helpful, we invite you to share your insight and experience with senior dogs so that we can help as many dog owners as possible. Use the comments section to share your thoughts and help everyone take better care of their four-legged pets.