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6 signs your pet is becoming a senior


As dogs and cats age, gradual changes become evident. For dogs such signs may manifest at as early as 5 years of age in the giant breeds, whilst small terrier breeds can remain youthful until the age of 10 or even older.

There is not such a broad size range in cats, and most will reach the golden years at around 8 years or so, but cats who enjoy a good level of exercise and keep a healthy figure can often remain sprightly for much longer.

Things to look out for include:

1. A general ‘slowing down’ or notably decreased levels of activity and stamina.

2. A tendency to sleep more.

3. Greying of the hair (in dogs, particularly round the muzzle).

4. Joint stiffness (especially after cold/damp spells or periods of rest).

5. Slower reflexes.

6. Diminished senses. Just as with people, hearing, vision and sense of smell may become less sharp.

So what changes should you make as your pet approached its senior years? If your pet enjoys a healthy lifestyle, regular exercise, mental stimulation and is not overweight there is no great need to make any changes. However it’s important to be aware of the signs of ageing, and be prepared to reduce your pet’s calorie intake when you notice he or she is slowing down a little.

Switching to a naturally hypoallergenic, high quality diet formulated for seniors may help to support the body during age-related changes.

Look for diets with boosted levels of natural supplements like glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM to protect the joints and additional functional ingredients such as prebiotics to support the digestion and immune system.

A diet containing added essential fatty acids may also be beneficial, because the omega-3s release compounds within the body that reduce inflammation. Krill is an excellent source of omega-3 DHA and EPA. Our Senior diet is often a great choice for aging dogs. For older cats, we may suggest our Light diet. These diets are lower calorie than our maintenance products, ideal for when cats and dogs start expending less energy. They’re full of nutritious ingredients and include supplements to support the joints, brain, digestion, skin and urinary tract.

Don’t undo all your hard work with unhealthy treats and tid bits! Choose healthy rewards like our naturally hypoallergenic Crunchy Bites or Tasty Liver Treat which meet the same high standards of our main diets. For a more in depth look at aging dogs, read our article Feeding senior dogs by our Nutrition Advisor and Registered Vet Nurse, Ness Bird.

If you have any questions related to your aging pets please get in touch.

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