Senior pets have a special place in our hearts. And, special nutrition can help them stay in our lives (and laps) for longer.
If your furry friend is getting up there in years, it may be a good time to switch to a senior-specific formula, or a food that’s designed to better meet your pet’s changing body and energy demands. There are many great senior formulas available, and every dog and cat is different, so choosing the best food for your pet can feel a bit overwhelming. Here are some factors to consider when selecting your senior pet’s food:
Eating plenty of high-quality animal protein is very important for older cats and dogs. As they age, they tend to lose muscle mass. High-protein, real-meat diets, like Tiki Dog™ and Tiki Cat® foods, can help older pets maintain muscle mass and energy.
Like us humans, older pets are prone to weight gain as they become slower in activity and metabolic rate. To help them stay at a healthy weight, feed them a lower calorie food, follow the feeding guidelines on the bag, limit treats, and give them regular, moderate exercise.
Older cats and dogs are susceptible to dehydration, particularly cats, who have naturally low thirst drives. This may be due to decreased kidney function, other health issues or medications. Senior pets can benefit from wet foods, especially high-moisture wet foods like Tiki Cat®, because of the important supplemental hydration that they provide. The enhanced flavor and aroma of wet food is also beneficial for older pets with diminished senses and appetites. And, as always, encourage your pet to drink plenty of fresh water throughout the day.
Pet food with low phosphorus levels has been shown to benefit cats and dogs with kidney disease, which is a common problem in aging pets. Tiki Cat® Raw™ with Duck, Turkey Bone Broth and Pumpkin and Tiki Dog™ Raw™ Duck, Turkey Bone Broth and Pumpkin formulas both feature low phosphorus levels for kidney support.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin
Older pets suffer from arthritis and achy joints just like we do. Luckily, glucosamine hydrochloride and chondroitin sulfate in their food can help support healthy hips and joints, improving mobility – and play time!
A good senior formula will be rich in antioxidants, like vitamins E and C, to help strengthen your pet’s immune system, which weakens with age. even contains antioxidant-packed green tea extract.
If your dog or cat experiences constipation, as some senior pets do, feeding a senior formula with increased fiber may help. Look for easy-to-digest, gentle fiber sources, like pumpkin.
Consider your cat or dog’s dental health when choosing the form of their food. Do they have a sensitive mouth? Blended pet foods, like Tiki Dog™ Senior Mousse and Tiki Cat® Senior Mousse, are lick-ably smooth and easy to eat. If you prefer to feed dry food, consider adding a scoop of wet on top to boost hydration and soften the kibble.
You may be wondering, “Can I feed my senior pet food that’s formulated for all life stages?” Absolutely. However, your pet wouldn’t receive all of the additional benefits offered by senior formulas, since they’re designed specifically for the unique nutritional needs of older pets.
If you have any concerns about your pet’s health, be sure to visit your veterinarian. With regular checkups, the right nutritional support, exercise, and lots of love, senior pets can stay healthy and happy well into their golden years.