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Feeding your Senior Pet

What is the difference between supermarket and premium quality pet food?

daisy hill vet pet foodWith pet food you really do get what you pay for.  Premium diets, the sort we stock and recommend, are made from human-grade ingredients, and are specially formulated for your pet’s lifestage. In addition, every batch of a premium diet is the same, whereas supermarkets tend to use whatever ingredients are cheap at the time.

Compared to supermarket foods, premium diets:

  • Contain higher quality proteins
  • Have a more digestible fibre
  • Are designed to support dental health
  • Include Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to improve skin and coat condition

 

What’s so special about diets designed for senior or mature pets?

Senior or mature diets are specially created to cater for the specific needs for dogs and cats of over 7 years of age who are otherwise well.

They feature:

  • An approximately 20% reduction in calories (as older animals tend to be less active)
  • Additives such as glucosamine or chondroitin to support joint health and reduce symptoms of arthritis
  • Extra omega 3 fatty acids to reduce joint inflammation and aid coat health
  • Anti-oxidants to protect against free radicals
  • Reduced sodium to decrease fluid load on the heart
  • Reduced phosphate levels to decrease the work load of the kidneys
  • Added tryptophan, an amino acid to support brain function and aid with regulation of sleep, anxiety and appetite
  • A specific amino acid, ‘Leucine,’ to minimise muscle wasting

 

What should you feed your senior pet if they are unwell?

Some internal organs age faster than others. Some “age-related” conditions, therefore, are actually due to a particular organ starting to fail.  There are many cases where a change in diet can actually slow down the progression of such conditions. Often if these conditions are detected early enough, change of diet is all that is required.  A full examination, often involving urine and blood testing, will determine if medication is also required. Please note that these are prescription diets and need to be used under veterinary supervision.

Some examples of diseases where diets can provide relief or increase your pet’s lifespan:

  • Kidney disease in dogs and cats
  • Heart disease in dogs
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Dementia and brain disease
  • Thyroid over-activity in cats