If you share your home with a dog that's reached their golden years it's important to feed them nourishing food that meets all their dietary requirements. Just as with people, when dogs get older they need more in the way of vitamins and minerals to keep them healthy and to support their ageing immune systems. However, they don't need food that's higher in protein but they benefit from a diet that's high in fibre because it helps their digestive systems work as properly.
Older dogs also benefit from being fed certain things that are not often found in commercially produced dog foods, but which you can add to their diet when needed. Not only do these foods provide a superb variation into an often boring diet, but they are known to do a power of good to the older dog which includes helping to promote stronger immune systems at a time in their lives when they need it most. Below are 6 foods that will do just this.
There's been a lot of talk about the benefits of adding coconut oil to a dog's diet. Research has suggested that because coconut oil contains dietary fats that are more easily digested by our canine friends adding a little to their food can really help an older dog get the best out of their food. These same properties also provide valuable energy to the brain which as a result improves cognitive function. Again, thiscan really benefit the older dog.
It is also thought that if a dog is carrying too much weight, adding a little coconut oil to their food actually helps them lose weight because it increases their metabolism. The result being their bodies burn off more fat which in turn helps them shed any extra pounds they are carrying.
Olive oil is invaluable when a little is added to a senior dog's food on a regular basis because it helps strengthen and support their often weaker immune systems. This in turn helps a dog fight off infections and diseases more easily. The reason why olive oil supports the immune system is because it is extremely rich in valuable antioxidants one of which is Vitamin E.
Blueberries are full of goodness and they are known to be a powerful antioxidant which may help prevent the spread of certain cancer cells. Adding a few to an older dog's diet helps in many ways which includes protecting their heart function. It's also thought that blueberries help improve memory which again is crucial when dogs reach a certain age and their cognitive function is not as good as it once was.
Raw honey contains lots of goodness which includes valuable minerals, natural enzymes and antioxidants which older dogs can really benefit from being given on a regular basis. Raw honey is known to have very powerful anti-inflammatory properties which helps fight off any infections. Another benefit of raw honey is that it helps improve a dog's digestion something that tends to suffer as they get older and more especially when they reach their golden years.
However, if your dog is carrying too much weight or if they are diabetic, you need to discuss adding raw honey to their diet because it may do more harm than good. The other thing to bear in mind is that raw honey should never to be fed to young puppies because it could contain a harmful botulism type toxin which could make them very ill, but which does not affect older more mature dogs.
Fish oil is full of goodness and more importantly omega-3 fatty acids which are essential because the body is unable to produce them hence they have to come from foods. Adding fish oil to an older dog's diet can help them fight off all sorts of anti-inflammatory diseases and this includes the painful and debilitation condition known as osteoarthritis. It also helps improve a dog's cognitive function and it can help improve their vision too.
This is a type of algae that's found in fresh water. It is microscopic, but it offers many benefits when added to an older dog's diet. The algae is packed full of protein and it contains valuable nutrients which includes Vitamin B complex, Vitamin E as well as many minerals and other valuable things that keep an older dog's system in good condition. It is also known to contain properties that protect the liver which again is essential in older dogs.
Dogs give us so much pleasure throughout their lives, so when they reach their golden years, it's up to their owners to make sure they are comfortable as old age starts to set in. The foods mentioned above all contain valuable properties that older dogs benefit from being given on a regular basis. However, before adding anything to your pet's diet it's best to discuss things with your vet first. They would be able to recommend which of the foods would be best for your dog. The vet would also be able to advise you on dosage and frequency of adding one or more of them to a dog's diet so you don't give too little or too much of any of them, but an amount that would benefit an older dog.