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Nutrition and Your Senior Dog’s Body

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In the past, veterinarians recommended diets for senior dogs largely based on the nutritional management of diseases common to the aging process. Research, however, has shown that special nutrition can help manage body-condition problems in aging dogs, such as obesity and loss of muscle mass. Senior dogs also benefit from special nutrition to help maintain bone and joint health.
 

Learn more about how you can help your senior dog manage common health issues associated with aging.

 

Managing Obesity in Senior Dogs

Senior dogs tend to gain weight, despite consuming fewer calories, due to changes in their metabolic rate. Therefore, they can benefit from eating a diet with reduced fat levels and lower caloric density than adult maintenance foods.
 

Recent IAMS™ research in dogs also indicates that L-carnitine — a vitamin-like compound made in the body from the amino acids found in red meats, fish, chicken and milk — can help reduce weight in overweight dogs by escorting fat into cellular mitochondria where it is turned into energy.

 

Addressing Loss of Muscle Mass in Senior Dogs

Protein is the building block of muscle tissues. It is important for maintenance of muscle tissues, muscle strength and mobility. Recent research conducted by The IAMS Company has shown that senior dogs that eat a higher-protein diet better maintain muscle protein stores. By providing optimal protein levels from muscle maintenance, we can help senior dogs continue being physically active.
 

This research is contrary to conventional opinion that senior dog foods should contain lower protein levels than adult maintenance formulas to avoid progressive decrease in kidney function. However, senior dogs fed a high-protein diet had stable renal function and a lower death rate than dogs fed a lower-protein diet.*

 

Maintaining Bone and Joint Health for Senior Dogs

During the aging process, cartilage between joints often begins deteriorating. Nutritional management can help maintain healthy bones and joints and mobility in dogs in several ways:

  • Optimal levels of vitamins and minerals promote the efficient production of cartilage and nutritionally support bone and nerve function.
  • A complete and balanced diet with an adjusted omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio nutritionally supports joint health.

Some pet-food manufacturers have endorsed reduced levels of calcium and phosphorus based on the belief that excesses of these minerals are harmful to the kidneys. However, research has shown that no damaging accumulation of calcium or phosphorus was found in the kidneys of older dogs fed diets containing maintenance levels of calcium and phosphorus for four years.*
 

* Finco, DR. “Effects of aging and dietary protein intake of uninephrectomized geriatric dogs.” American Journal of Veterinary Research; Vol. 55, No. 9. Sept. 1994.

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  • 3 reasons why animal-based protein might be better for your dog​
    3 reasons why animal-based protein might be better for your dog​
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    3 reasons why animal-based protein might be better for your dog​

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    A balanced diet with high-quality protein is essential for your dog's optimal wellness.
     

    Author: Dr. Saza Curaming
     

    Dogs are semi-carnivores. They can be nourished by protein from animal sources, plant sources or a combination of both. Although dogs are often fed a plant-based diet, they are not herbivores. 
     

    The difference between animal-based protein and plant-based protein sources is that animal-based ones incorporate chicken, lamb, fish meal, and beef while plant-based protein sources include corn-gluten and soybean meal. 
     

    Similar to their carnivorous ancestors–wolves, coyotes, foxes, and jackals, the body structure of dogs is optimized for eating meat which is relatively easier for them to digest than a plant-based diet. 
     

    Even though dogs are semi-carnivores, it is important to not leave out animal-based proteins from their diet. Feeding our dogs meat-based products are closely related to their natural ancestral diet. There are three main reasons animal-based proteins are better suited for our furry friends than plant-based proteins.
     

    Not all proteins are created equal 

    Including protein in your pet dog’s diet serves several functions. For one, a high-quality protein food for dogs can provide amino acids. Amino acids play a key part in building hair, skin, nails, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. Protein plays a key role in hormone and enzyme production.
     

    Amino acids are building blocks and are considered critical to our furry best friend. Different studies have shown that out of the 20 amino acids, 10 of these are called non-essential and can be made by your dog when they need it.

     

    Protein is crucial throughout a dog’s lifetime

    A dog’s need for amino acids will also change depending on age and condition. As dogs age, their body composition and muscle-specific proteins decline and for that reason, giving them protein in their meal helps them maintain a healthy body throughout the years.
     

    That said, it goes without saying that puppies require sufficient protein for growth. According to a study, a puppy's diet should consist of at least 22% protein. For an adult dog, 18% of protein should be incorporated into their everyday meal. 

     

    Protein a day, keeps doctors away

    Animal protein sources contain an average of 35% higher protein concentration. It contains higher doses of calcium, phosphorus, omega 6, methionine, cystine, and taurine. 
     

    While protein can be derived from plants, the canine digestive system typically has an easier time utilizing animal-sourced protein. Our dog's gastrointestinal tract is not designed to digest large amounts of plant-based products.
     

    To deliver a healthy balance of amino acids to support your dog's health and vitality, IAMS created a recipe that uses chicken as their number one ingredient and aids in maintaining healthy digestion, immune system, skin and coat, and even provides dental care support that is developed with veterinarians. 
     

    Ready to achieve your dog’s optimal health with an animal-based protein food? For more information about IAMS Dog, visit https://iams.asia/my/. IAMS Dog is available at all leading supermarkets and grocery stores nationwide.