Perhaps the only flaw that our beloved dogs have is that they age faster than we do. Luckily, in recent years, there has been a huge improvement in pet nutrition and healthcare, so our dogs are now living longer than ever before. The average lifespan of our beloved dogs is around 13 years of age, however, the ageing process varies from one dog to another. In fact, it’s reported that the greatest reliable age recorded for a dog was over 29 years, for an Australian cattle-dog named Bluey.
Dogs generally start to get older at around 10 years of age, depending on the size and breed. Although old age isn’t a disease itself, you might start to notice that ageing brings with it issues that may have an impact on the organ systems, symptoms that vary with each dog. You may also start to notice your dog showing several physical and mental signs of ageing, such as cloudy eyes, bad breath, slow movements, incontinence, weight change, and a change in behaviour. They may also suffer from some common diseases associated with ageing, such as heart disease, cancer and kidney disease.
As dogs get older, you might also notice a decline in some of their senses. They might lose their hearing, taste and even sense of smell, which could have an impact on their eating habits. Dogs don’t have the same amount of taste buds as we do, but their sense of smell is far superior, and if this declines, they might not find their food so appealing, which can lead to inappetence. They may also suffer from gum disease and tooth tartar, which can lead to a sore mouth and a reluctance to eat.
So, how can we keep our golden oldies happy and healthy for longer? As with human beings, nutrition and age play an important part in keeping our dogs as youthful as possible. Giving your dog regular walks will help maintain their muscle tone and vitality, and may also keep their weight in check and improve circulation as they get older. If they do start to lose muscle mass, it might be beneficial to increase the amount of protein they have in their diet, unless they have kidney issues, of course. Restricting protein will not prevent kidney disease in a healthy dog.
As their metabolic rate is generally lower, most elderly dogs may need a smaller portion of food; perhaps even 20 – 30% less. This is the time of their lives when their waistlines may expand as they often become much more food motivated.
Despite their age, senior dogs still have a lot of life left to live, and an exciting new product from Burns Pet Nutrition could help them live their senior life to the fullest. The Senior+ range from Burns promotes healthy ageing for senior dogs and helps keep the spring in their step as they get older.
Based on their award winning Chicken and Rice recipe, the Burns new Senior+ diet is available for both small and average sized breeds, and includes simple and wholesome ingredients such as Chicken, Brown Rice, Peas, Oats and Green Tea Extract.
Dogs can start to gain weight as they get older, but this healthy new senior dog food contains controlled levels of protein and fat to maintain their ideal body weight. With a little extra nutrition boost for seniors, thanks to the addition of quality ingredients such as salmon oil and glucosamine, this high quality food can help maintain healthy joints, mobility, as well as good cognitive function.
Burns Senior+ Original is a complete food that’s ideal for older dogs who need a little extra support. It contains an abundance of healthy ingredients, such as brown rice and organic chicken, and controlled levels of protein and fat to help older dogs maintain their ideal bodyweight even when they’re slowing down. With a little extra nutritious boost from selected ingredients such as glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM and salmon oil, and antioxidant-rich green tea and blueberry extract, it’s the perfect recipe to help old dogs grow old playfully.
For smaller breeds, Burns Toy and Small Breed Senior is a complete option for older, small breed dogs. This tasty and nutritious food contains all the key ingredients of the Original Senior+, but it’s small enough for little mouths, and even ideal for dogs who have undergone dental treatment. Containing all the amazing ingredients of the Senior+ Original food, this diet also helps little dogs maintain healthy joints, good mobility and good cognitive function well into old age. While any of the Burns adult diets are suitable for senior dogs, Burns Senior+ is perfect for older dogs who may need a little extra nutritional boost as they get older.
For more help and advice on nutrition for your senior dog, contact the nutrition team at Burns for free on 0800 083 66 96 or shop the Senior+ Range now by visiting www.burnspet.co.uk