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Diet for Senior Pets

shutterstock_161066453The correct diet can greatly enhance the senior pets’ quality and length of life.

As your pet’s digestive system ages, it becomes less efficient in breaking down foods for absorption into the body. The stomach and intestines can become less tolerant of human foods, such as table scraps.

You can easily spot signs of digestive problems: vomiting, flatulence and intermittent diarrhoea or constipation.

As pets get older, their nutritional needs change. Immune and digestive systems can become more delicate. Gaining weight is common due to reduced activity levels, however senior pets can also lose weight due to loss of muscle mass.  Switching to a senior pet food may help promote a long, healthy life and provide enhanced levels of nutrients such as antioxidants, vitamin E and beta-carotene, plus fatty acids that are important to skin and coat health.

Additionally, many diseases suffered by older pets such as arthritis, cognitive dysfunction and kidney disease can be managed with a special prescription diet.  These are specially formulated for the nutritional requirements of each disease and in some cases can even reduce the amount of medication that your pet needs to be given.

As your pet ages, the need for proper nutrition is paramount.  It is truly the most significant health factor that you, the pet owner, can influence on a daily basis.  Feeding your pet a high-quality, premium senior food, such as Hill’s Mature/Age Defying or Royal Canin Mature diets will enhance your pet’s health and may offset some digestive, and other health problems.  Consult your veterinarian to determine the exact cause of persistent digestive problems, since other diseases or infections could be causing these signs.

If you have any questions about what your pet is eating or if you would like one of our friendly nurses to have a chat about nutrition and diet for senior pets, please call the clinic on 3849 4912 or send us an email.