Treating Your Senior Dog: Tailored Treats for Ageing Canines
There’s nothing better to see than a happy old dog! Over the course of their lives, our dogs give us so much joy, so it’s never too much to ask to provide a little extra care for them in their later years. That may mean slower walks with more gentle exploration, more time just relaxing together rather than running around playing, and, of course, a few simple changes to their diet - and, from our perspective, better treats.
But, to take the absolute best care for your old friend, what considerations do you need to make in their dietary intake? How do their nutritional needs change as they get older?
From softer, easier-to-munch chews to antioxidant-rich and low-calorie snacks, we explore the lot.
Better treats for older dogs
So, what you may or may not know about caring for older dogs is that, as they get a little older, slower, and more even-tempered, they also
start to need less energy-dense foods, along with a few key ingredients to keep up with life. This is because, throughout the course of
life, dogs will slow down, spend fewer calories, and become more susceptible to joint issues, weight gain, muscle loss, and cognitive
function. So, to keep your older dog in his or her best health, a few general treat tips can go a long way.
Protein - now more than ever!
We always say that lean, high-quality proteins are the best thing for dogs of any breed, age, or size, but as a dog ages, it becomes more
important than ever to keep those valuable proteins up! Older dogs can experience problems keeping their muscle mass, which can cause even
worse issues down the track. Which is why they’re reliant on a healthy diet of high-value protein sources like chicken, roo, or fish.
Lean proteins are also great for the immune system, so you’ll be pulling double duty with those chicken
Omega-3 fatty acids
Something that many dog owners are particularly aware of is arthritis in their old pets. Ageing dogs are increasingly susceptible to joint
pain and inflammation as they spend their years jumping and running around, which isn’t a lot of fun. To head off joint pain and
inflammation in your pet, make sure your treats have a good source of Omega-3 like you find in types of fish.
Antioxidants! (Auntie who?)
Yes, antioxidants are great for humans, but they’re equally beneficial for our canine friends! While you won’t be feeding your dog strong black tea anytime soon, there are a whole range of great sources that are suitable for pets. In case you’re unaware, antioxidants are extremely important to preserve cognitive function and cell damage from ageing, and it’s the same story for dogs. Look for naturally included vegetables in your pet treats to provide the right boost. Our favourite addition might be the range of veggies included (along with tasty meat) in our Super Snack Sticks - specifically the carrots, which also help with immune defence!
Gut health is good health
Like us, the contents of a dog's stomach are incredibly telling for overall health. Good gut biology is great for future well-being, just as
poor gut health can lead to big, big issues. Probiotic ingredients can be a big help, but it’s equally important to simply avoid nasty
preservatives and heavy, tough-to-digest treats. Finding the right solution during treat time would be a challenge if you
didn’t have Bow Wow on your team. Our treats are made from natural, healthy sources, and we also pick our ingredients to promote
digestion and gut health, which is a huge boon for older dogs. Just remember, natural is good!
Easy treats for happy smiles
There’s a point in life, for most dogs, where you just have to admit that big, heavy chews or enormous bones just aren’t a good option anymore. If your dog seems to be suffering or just not enjoying their usual treat options, it may be time to swap to some gentler snacks. Put away those heavy chews and try a few lighter biscuits, or maybe just downgrade to rabbit ears.
As always, talk to your vet about your dog’s unique needs before you make any drastic changes, or if they seem to be struggling, and let us know how your precious pets enjoy their Bow Wow treats!