When to feed senior food?

Discussion in 'Dog Food and Recipes' started by YorkieLover, Feb 8, 2005.

  1. YorkieLover

    YorkieLover New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2005
    Messages:
    355
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    4
    Location:
    Kentucky
    As you all know we have 2 yorkie boys believed to be 8 years old... I am getting alot of great feedback on food based on them not having many teeth but there is some discrepancies on if they should have senior food. We were told they both could stand to gain a couple pounds since when you pet them you can feel their ribs/spines. Any thoughts?
     
  2. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Messages:
    94,266
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    3, Bimmer, GSDX (m); Kharma, Fila Brasileiro (f);
    Location:
    Where the selas blooms
    Home Page:
    Hmmm . . . normally they would be ready for senior food, but since they are underweight there might be a difference. Mordy would have the best answer on this one, I think.
     
  3. YorkieLover

    YorkieLover New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2005
    Messages:
    355
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    4
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Thanks Renee.
     
  4. gaddylovesdogs

    gaddylovesdogs no touchy

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2005
    Messages:
    6,125
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I consider ages 6 and up senior. That's JMO.
     
  5. Mordy

    Mordy Quigleyfied

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Messages:
    3,868
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Home Page:
    i would not feed a healthy dog senior food at all.

    the reasoning behind this is that most senior foods are just drastically reduced in protein and fat, which are the two most important things a dog needs in the diet. older dogs with a slower metabolism have to work harder at extracting nutrients, so decreasing important ones is not something that supports their health. if the dog is rather inactive, reducing the overall amount fed daily by a little bit is the better way to go.

    that being said, there are a few senior foods on the market now that really are improved for the specific needs of older dogs and not just reduced in calories. these foods have a higher protein content and a reduced amount of fat (but with an increased amount of essential fatty acids) and are often formulated with lower levels of phosphorus to take stress off the kidneys. one of these is eagle pack senior care.

    as for when is a dog considered a senior?

    that depends on a number of things, breed and genetics first and foremost. a large or giant breed like a great dane or mastiff could be considered a senior at age 6 since they don't have a very long lifespan to begin with, 10 years being on the high end of the scale already.

    small dogs often have a life expectancy of 15+ years, so 6 years isn't even a "halfway mark" for them yet.

    i do not agree with the arbitrary labeling of dogs as seniors which is mainly perpetuated by the pet food industry giants like hill's, purina etc. their only goal is to sell you yet another "specialized" product and in the case of senior food (reduced protein/fat, increased carbs) that means a greater profit margin for them.

    my own great dane lived to be over 11 years old and ate regular adult food all his life. my wirehaired dachshund will be 13 1/2 in march and also does not eat senior food, in fact i was able to convince my mom (whom she lives with now) to switch her to a mostly raw diet with lots of meaty bones.
     
  6. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Messages:
    94,266
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    3, Bimmer, GSDX (m); Kharma, Fila Brasileiro (f);
    Location:
    Where the selas blooms
    Home Page:
    Thanks for the input, Mordy. By the way, which foods, besides the Eagle Pack that you mentioned, really are properly formulated to support the older, less active dog?
     
  7. Mordy

    Mordy Quigleyfied

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Messages:
    3,868
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Home Page:
    the only ones that immediately come to mind are eagle pack senior and royal canin natural blend senior. overall i'd say of the more well known "big names" on the pet food market, royal canin generally has the best idea about proper senior food.

    generally i'd look for something that has a higher amount of protein than the mainstream adult foods (about 21-24%) but a lower ratio of fat (12%-15% in adult foods).
     
  8. candy722

    candy722 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Messages:
    638
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hum.. I heard that dogs are consider senior when they turn 5 years old.
     
  9. Mordy

    Mordy Quigleyfied

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Messages:
    3,868
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Home Page:
    candy, that doesn't make sense, since there are so many different breeds which all age at different rates. it's just as much of a stupid blanket statement as "one human year is 7 dog years".
     
  10. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Messages:
    94,266
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    3, Bimmer, GSDX (m); Kharma, Fila Brasileiro (f);
    Location:
    Where the selas blooms
    Home Page:
    Candy, a lot of that kind of silly information gets put in our heads by marketing departments. Have you noticed that most senior dog foods are more expensive than the regular formulas? A company can sell a lot more of the higher priced food if they can convince you that your dog is officially senior at such a young age.

    I get irritated every time I see that commercial put out by a large manufacturer of killer dog food that says "We're for dogs." Talk about misleading propaganda!
     
  11. YorkieLover

    YorkieLover New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2005
    Messages:
    355
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    4
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Thanks everyone... I'm guessing my boys aren't seniors yet.. They are both yorkies and it is guessed that they are around 6 to 8 which if they live to be 15 would definitely not make them seniors in my book.
     
  12. Debi

    Debi Moderator

    Joined:
    May 19, 2004
    Messages:
    15,731
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Mordy, thanks. I've read many times that there is no need for a specific 'senior' food......that it is a marketing scam. So much info......so much to learn. I wonder.......if you have your dog on a diet that is really sound........does age really have all that much to do with anything? So....maybe you'd cut back a bit..due to inactivity (as people do)?? I know that Addie seems to put on weight in the winter......so I cut back to absolute lean meat, etc.......wouldn't you just do that for a senior dog? Is that what 'senior' food does....cuts back on fat/caloric content or something? (I know.....tooooo many ? here....I get so lost on nutrition) If this has already been said...so sorry, I've been a bit busy, and may have not read every post. :eek:
     
  13. Mordy

    Mordy Quigleyfied

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Messages:
    3,868
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Home Page:
    debi, cutting back makes sense in some areas. for example, fat supplies 2 1/4 times as many calories per weight unit than protein and carbohydrates do, and it is mainly a source of energy. a low-energy animal does not need as much fat.

    protein, however, is required to maintain and repair body cells, and aging dogs often have trouble extracting much needed nutrients from the food - that's why many older dogs can be very thin. a higher amount of easily digestible protein is a good thing.

    what most commercial pet foods do is cut back drastically on both protein and fat, leaving the dog with carbohydrates, which supply energy but do nothing for maintaining the body. the result is often an older dog who is somewhat overweight but has a poor skin and coat and shows other signs of poor diet.
     
  14. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Messages:
    94,266
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    3, Bimmer, GSDX (m); Kharma, Fila Brasileiro (f);
    Location:
    Where the selas blooms
    Home Page:
    Now that was a great explanation, Mordy!
     
  15. Debi

    Debi Moderator

    Joined:
    May 19, 2004
    Messages:
    15,731
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks Mordy!! :D I actually understood that.....there is hope for me yet. Sometimes I get a bit confused reading everything out there. Your posts are GREAT.
     
  16. Mordy

    Mordy Quigleyfied

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Messages:
    3,868
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Home Page:
    well, i'm glad to be of help. :) do feel free to point out anything in my posts that you don't understand, sometimes i have a tendency to get a bit more technical than really necessary. :eek:
     

Share This Page