Senior dog food was created for the idea that senior dogs have special needs. The leading cause of death in most senior dogs is cancer and kidney disease. I’ve read both sides of the same story and I’m very confused. (To high protein can cause kidney disease and to high protein won’t cause kidney disease) Which is it?
It depends what you consider high protein. If you’re feeding a food that is 18% protein! then you’d probably consider 25% protein high. For me, 25% is too low. As far as I’ve read, a “too high” protein diet is only a problem if you have an unhealthy dog. In your first paragraph above, you said senior foods were created that senior dogs have special needs. What special needs do they have?
Hip and joint problems, digestion problems, eye problems, ear problems
Tina, I’m confused because in your OP, you stated “Senior dog food was created for the idea that senior dogs have special needs.”
Are you saying your senior dogs have these problems “Hip and joint problems, digestion problems, eye problems, ear problems” or this is why senior dog food was created? If its the latter, that’s a very broad statement from a dog food company. I’ve had my share of senior dogs, I adopted three of them as seniors and not all had hip and joint problems, none had digestion problems and what eye and ear problems are for seniors? Sorry, I’m just not following exactly what you’re saying and I have no clue what is special about senior dog food that would help the maladies you state.
Hound Dog MomParticipant
Hi Tina –
Not all senior dogs have these problems you mention. If your dog does have any of these problems, you can supplement the feed. For example, if your dog has joint problems you may consider supplementing with omega 3’s, glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, etc. If your dog has digestion problems you may wish to add probiotics, enzymes, additional fiber, etc.
Just because a dog is “senior” doesn’t mean it has these problems. All those problems can potentially happen at any age. I’ve fostered many dogs under 5 (even as young as 1 yr) with joint/eye/digestion/ear issues and have needed hip/knee surgeries and prescription eye and ear drops. A healthy senior can eat regular food (adult, maintenance and all life stages, puppy food). I have a 14 yr old with no active health issues. He is blind and deaf which he was already when I got him last year at 13. He is not on any medications and eats the same foods as all the other foster dogs I have. I use 3.5-4.5 star kibble and top it off with 5 star canned foods which is normally at least 43% protein. He even gets some raw food which I usually make without any plant matter. The dogs get joint supplements and vitamins, antioxidants, supergreen supplements and fish oil. My personal dogs don’t get chemical pesticides which has been linked to some cancers nor do they get unnecessary vaccines. You might want to research “over vaccination”. Try looking up Dogs4dogs dot com, b-naturals dot com, wholedogjournal dot com, dogsnaturallymagazine dot com. These are just a few of the sites pertaining to more “natural” care of dogs. If one of my dogs had late stage kidney disease, at that point I would change the diet, but I wouldn’t change the diet just because they’re a senior in general. Some things possibly connected to cancer is chemical laden commercial kibble, vaccines, the constant application of poisonous pesticides (heartworm and flea/tick meds, fertilizers), even air pollution.
I agree with pugmomsandy. Protein wouldn’t cause renal problems in older dogs, but if an older dog has renal issues they should be on a lower protein food to help the kidneys do their job filtering. Otherwise, older dogs need their protein!
In general I think a healthy dog doesn’t need “senior” food, just another marketing gimmick in my opinion.
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