Dog Nutrition!

There is no pre-defined nutrition plan we can follow for our older dogs. Your dog's nutrition needs are best determined by working closely with your veterinarian. By discussing your dog's eating habits and phyical ailments you will be able to formulate the ideal plan for your dog's nutrition needs. There are some feeding recommendations for all aging dogs and we have listed them below.

Dog Nutrition Guide

As dogs grow older there nutritional requirements are changing.

  • Fewer Calories - As an older dog physically slows down so does his metabolism (rate the body burns calories into energy the body requires). A senior dog will require 10-30% fewer calories.

  • Diet should include at least 18% high-quality protein and 5% fat per serving.

  • Water - Very important to always have fresh water available

  • Smaller Meals - Break the larger meals into smaller more frequent meals. It will be easier to digest more small meals than the larger ones.

  • Limit the Snacks and treats - When providing a treat look for low solidum.

  • Increase Fiber - Will help with calorie control and with function of the intestine.

  • Don't over feed - Obseity is a serious condition for an older dog as it puts more stress on the heart, lungs, and joints.

  • Comfortable - Elevated feeding bowls help dogs suffering from arthritis feed with reduced pain.

Fruits and vegetables are healthy, low calorie snacks many pets enjoy. Those rich in antioxidants are especially beneficial for your dog:

  • Oranges
  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Cantaloupe
  • Asparagus Tips

Oranges are rich in Vitamin C, tomatoes are filled with Lycopenes and sweet potatoes are a source of Vitamin E and Beta Carotene. Carrots and cantaloupes also provide Beta Carotene for your dog.

The healthest diet for your dog should include as much fresh food as possible - and food of the highest quality you can provide!

Vitamins for Dogs

You're right to be concerned about what dog vitamins you should be giving your old dog. Just like people benefit from vitamins and supplements, dogs also benefit from good nutrition.

Vitamins work in conjunction with minerals and enzymes to assure normal digestion, reproduction, muscle and bone growth.

  • Vitamin A - helps dryness, hardening and itching of the skin. Also protects against infection and toxic chemicals.

  • Vitamin B1 - Thiamine - helps dogs become more alert and intelligent, also helps with fleas and other parasites.

  • Vitamin B2 - Riboflavin - helps protein and fat metabolism; also helps prevent cataracts in the eyes.

  • Vitamin B3 - helps convert food to energy, helps protein and fat metabolism. Also controls convulsive seizures in dogs.

  • Vitamin B5 - Pantothenic Acid - is an anti-stress vitamin because it's required for producing good antibodies, helps longevity. Dogs deficient in Vitamin B5 can't fight infection.

  • Vitamin B6 - Pyridoxine - It is required in the utilization of some minerals for a healthy nervous system, red blood cell production, good brain function, and a strong immune system. Anemia, poor growth, artery disease, kidney stones are all signs of deficiency.

  • Vitamin B9 - Folic Acid - Dogs need folic acid during pregnancy and to help build the immune system. Signs of deficiency in dogs include: erratic appetite, retarded weight gain, watery secretion from the eyes, and decreased antibody response to microorganisms.

  • Vitamin B12 - Cobalamin - Dry skin and coat.. This vitamin prevents nerve damage, aids fertility, and promotes normal growth and development. Also helps in the digestion of food.

  • Vitamin C - helps to fight scurvy, less likely to develop hip dysplasia, spinal myelopathy, ruptured discs, viral disease, skin problem and common bacterial infections.

  • Vitamin D - key in calcium and phosphorus metabolism to help with strong bones and teeth. Sunlight stimulates dogs to generate vitamin D.

  • Vitamin E - helps boost the efficiency of the heart and circulation system. Promotes dilation of the small blood vessels, increasing the supply of oxygen to all of the body. Vitamin E helps to improve your dogs immune system, muscle power, and stamina. It also protects against air pollution and has been know to rejuvenate ailing and tired dogs.

  • Vitamin H - Biotin - helps reduce the incidence of skin disorders. Assists the thyroid and adrenal glands and aids the nervous system. Also helps in the prevention of coprophagy (the animal eating its own excrement).

  • Vitamin K - has a special role in the clotting of blood. Often used after a dog has eaten rat poison!

Supplements for Dogs

The vitamins, fats and nutrients that are beneficial to your dog are baked out of dog food during processing.

Glucosamine - is the most popular dog supplement that naturally supports healthly joints.

  • Helps the cartilage between the joints retain water allowing it to continue providing support to your dogs bones

  • Helps to reduce inflammation of the joints

  • Provide an increase mobility to dogs with arthritis and hip dysplasia

Fatty Acids are important for mental clarity and the health of your dog's brain

  • Helps with the risk of dementia in dogs

  • For optimal health your dog require both Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids in their diet and the best source is fish oils

  • Dogs typically receive enough omega-6 from their food but not alway the case for omega-3

  • If your dog is suspectible to allergies it is recommended you rotate the type of fatty acids you provide - Providing a Sardine or Salmon oil in the summer and cod liver oil in the winter is a common rotation

  • Cod liver oil is higher in vitamin D and provides nourishment to the dog's skin helping to reduce itching.

Digestive enzymes If your dog is not eating lightly cooked or raw meals they should be receiving a digestive enzymes with each meal

  • Help to improve the absorption of nutrients and your dog's digestion and gastrointestinal health.

  • Help to reduce shedding, body order, itchy skin and problem with flatulence


  • are important if your dog is on any antibiotics or other medication that reduces the intestinal microflora. (microscopic organisms that live inside intestine and act as a protective agent that strenghtens the imune system.

  • Microflora is best when balanced. When there is an inbalance of probiotics infections and disease can result due to the high concentrations of harmful bacteria.

  • Benefits for occasional diarrhea and bad smelling stools