Brutus Broth has teamed up with Spot & Tango to share some helpful tips for senior dogs and their diet. If your dog is getting older and slower, you may be worried about how much weight they have gained or how their energy has slowed down. You may have a dog that once chowed down on their meals with excitement, but now seems to have lost interest in their food.
When to know if you should switch your senior dog’s food
When a beloved pet ages, their eating habits and dietary needs can change. Switching your senior dog to a different food can be beneficial if you notice any of the following signs:
- Digestive Issues: If your dog experiences regular bouts of diarrhea, constipation, or vomiting, it might be an indication that their current food isn't agreeing with them.
- Dull Coat or Skin Issues: A lackluster coat or persistent skin problems (like dryness, itching, or hot spots) can be a sign that your dog's current diet is lacking essential nutrients.
- Weight Changes: Sudden weight loss or gain could indicate that your dog's current food isn't providing the right balance of nutrients for their age and activity level.
- Allergies or Sensitivities: If your dog exhibits signs of food allergies (itchy skin, ear infections, digestive issues), it may be time to explore different protein sources or specialized hypoallergenic foods.
- Decreased Energy or Activity Levels: If your senior dog is less active than usual, it might be due to a lack of energy from their current diet.
- Joint Problems or Arthritis: Specialized foods containing joint supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin can help manage arthritis or joint issues in older dogs.
- Dental Issues: Difficulty chewing or reluctance to eat hard kibble could indicate dental problems. Switching to a different texture or type of food may help.
- Frequent Urinary Tract Issues: Certain foods can help maintain urinary health, and if your senior dog is experiencing recurrent urinary tract problems, a change in diet might be beneficial.
- Unexplained Behavioral Changes: A shift in behavior could be linked to discomfort or dissatisfaction with their current diet. This might include signs of irritability, restlessness, or even aggression.
- Decreased Appetite or Interest in Food: If your senior dog seems disinterested in their current food, it might be time to try something new to rekindle their appetite.
- Excessive Flatulence or Digestive Upset: Persistent gas or digestive discomfort can indicate that your dog's current food is causing digestive issues.
Picking the right food
Seniors and geriatric dogs generally require lower-calorie diets to help prevent excess weight and obesity, which is a huge problem in seniors. They may also require higher-fiber diets to improve gastrointestinal health. There are many benefits in feeding fresh food to older dogs.
Spot & Tango’s UnKibble & Fresh recipes are a great option for older dogs, made with 100% fresh, whole ingredients and contain no artificial preservatives, fillers, or additives. They are all complete and balanced for all dogs from puppies to adults (according to AAFCO's nutritional standards), and are GMO and hormone free.
There are different fresh food formats to pick from, like Fresh Dry or FreshFrozen UnKibble. Brutus Bone Broth and UnKibble recipes are the perfect pair! UnKibble is made from human-grade ingredients, gently cooked and freeze dried to preserve nutritional integrity, but it’s shelf-stable to make mealtime convenient for pet parents. The UnKibble is softer than traditional kibble, so it’s easier on your senior’s teeth. Try rehydrating UnKibble with a dog-safe bone broth like Brutus Bone Broth to add nutrients and extra flavor.
Who is AAFCO? What are AAFCO standards?
Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) is an independent organization that has been guiding state, federal and international feed regulators with ingredient definitions, label standards and laboratory standards for more than 110 years, while supporting the health and safety of people and animals. Their members are charged by their local, state or federal laws to regulate the sale and distribution of animal feeds and animal drug remedies.
The AAFCO statement found on pet food packaging explains whether the food contains essential nutrients, how that was determined, and for which life stage the food is appropriate for. It basically lets you know that the food is “complete and balanced” for a particular life stage, such as the senior stage of a dog’s life. For example, both Brutus Bone Broth and Spot & Tango’s recipes meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO, formulated for all life stages–puppies through seniors!
Fun Ways To Feed Your Senior Dog
When we look at how dogs find and consume food in their natural state, we generally see the participation in scavenging and predatory behavior. Therefore, food games and certain training exercises that resemble the dog using one or both of these food seeking processes can add enrichment to the dog’s life. Here are some ways to make your senior dog’s mealtimes more exciting – and delicious:
- Have fun with food-dispensing rubber toys: if your dog loves to play, buy a hard rubber toy that you can fill with dog food – they’ll have great fun figuring out how to eat it. You could also play a tracking game, by laying their biscuits in a trail to the food-filled toy.
- Puzzle it out with slow-feeding dog bowls: eating out of a regular bowl may be too boring for your senior dog. On the other hand, you may have a dog that eats too fast which can cause bloat and upset stomach. Using a slow-feeding dog bowl makes your dog take small bites of food, and puzzle feeders keep your dog busy by encouraging them to find their food.
- Feed your dog after exercise: your dog is bound to be hungry after they have burned up a lot of energy running at the park or beach. They’ll look forward to a big drink and a tasty feed when they get home.
- Try a snuffle mat: there is a huge variety of these available online–and there are even some DIY options. They are a fun interactive way to hide your pieces of your dog's UnKibble and make a game out of their meal time.
- Try a topper: Brutus Bone broth (or a dog-safe bone broth, free of garlic or onion) is paired perfectly with Spot & Tango’s UnKibble and Fresh recipes!
Fresh food can provide numerous benefits for senior dogs. It can improve digestion, increase nutrient absorption, promote better overall health, improve coat and skin, increase energy, and aid in weight management.