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Special Nutritional Needs of Senior Pets
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Special Nutritional Needs of Senior Pets

 

As dogs age, changes occur in the way their bodies function, so it makes sense that what they eat also might need to change. The following list of health issues might be more common in aging pets.

  • Decreased immune-system function
  • More frequent intestinal problems
  • Decreased mobility
  • Dental issues

 

 

Special Nutrition for Special Needs

Decreased Immune System Function

Throughout a dog’s life, a process called peroxidation occurs. Peroxidation is a normal process that the body uses to destroy cells that outlive their usefulness and to kill germs, parasites, etc. This process, however, also can destroy or damage healthy cells. As your dog ages, the damage caused by peroxidation accumulates, which, in turn, increases the risk of certain problems, such as infections.
 

Antioxidants are naturally occurring nutrients that help maintain overall health by neutralizing the peroxidation process of cellular molecules. Some antioxidants, such as vitamin E, beta-carotene, and lutein, are naturally occurring nutrients.
 

Recent research sponsored by The IAMS™ Company found that dogs fed a diet rich in antioxidants such as vitamin E, lutein, or beta-carotene had improved immune responses and vaccine recognition. This might be especially important in senior dog care; IAMS research has found that as dogs age, immune responses can decrease.

 

More Frequent Intestinal Problems

Older dogs might have higher numbers of unfavorable bacteria and lower numbers of beneficial bacteria in their intestines, which can result in clinical signs of gastrointestinal problems (e.g., diarrhea).
 

Feeding a diet containing fructooligosaccharides (FOS), a unique fiber source that helps nutritionally maintain healthy intestinal bacterial populations, promotes growth of beneficial bacteria. Beet pulp, a moderably fermentable fiber source, also helps maintain intestinal health by providing energy for the cells lining the intestine and promoting small, firm stools.

 

 

Signs That Your Dog Needs Senior Food

Different dogs show signs of aging at different times, and much of this variation is associated with size. Larger dogs generally appear "old" sooner than smaller dogs. The table below lists the age at which various groups of dogs should be transitioned to senior foods, such as IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Senior Plus.

 

 

Dog Weight and Transition to Senior Food

Weight Range Age to Begin Transition
More than 90 lbs 5 years
51 to 90 lbs 6 years
21 to 50 lbs 7 years
Up to 20 lbs 7 years

  • German Shepherd Dog Care
    German Shepherd Dog Care

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    How to Take Care of a German Shepherd Dog

    German Shepherd Dogs are one of the most loved breeds in the world! They're incredibly smart, versatile and learn new behaviors quickly. If that wasn't enough, they're also faithful companions that are very protective of their families.

    But before you take the leap and adopt a German Shepherd, there are a few things you must know about looking after one. As is the case with raising a dog of any breed, caring for a German Shepherd needs commitment, patience and understanding.


    Here's what it takes to care for a German Shepherd:


    a. Exercising German Shepherds
    German Shepherds are fantastic creatures in every sense, and it is easy to see why. GSDs are naturally energetic and need dedicated time daily to burn it off. They need at least 60minutes of daily physical exercise such as running and playing fetch in a park. A fit dog is a happy dog and one that is exercised regularly will not be happy, but healthy too.

    b. Grooming German Shepherds
    Be prepared to keep your vacuum cleaner handy. GSDs have thick coats, making them prone to shedding. Grooming your GSD takes time as well. You will need to give your pet a comb down at least 3 times a week. But you won’t need to bathe your dog too often (unless advised to do so by your vet).

    c. Dog Food for German Shepherds
    To stay healthy and active, German Shepherds require complete and balanced meals that are tailor-made to meet their unique needs. You could try a premium recipe like IAMS™ Proactive Health™ for Adult German Shepherds, which is specially formulated food for German Shepherds. This recipe is a blend of beet pulp and prebiotics (FOS) that supports healthy digestion, calcium, magnesium and other minerals and vitamins to support a healthy heart, and Omega 6 and 3 fatty acids to support skin and coat health. We recommend dividing their daily intake into two meals.

     

    SIZE OF GERMAN SHEPHERD

    RECOMMENDED DAILY FEEDING (g)

    20-30 kg 245-330
    30-40 kg 330-410
    40-50 kg 410-485
    50-60 kg 485-555

     

    d. Diseases German Shepherds are Susceptible to
    Like most dog breeds, German Shepherds are prone to diseases as well. But here are a few common diseases they are known to suffer from. Hip and elbow dysplasia, allergies, degenerative myelopathy, inherited eye diseases, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, skin and heart disease, and thyroid disease. If you remain dedicated to providing your dog with the right kind of nutrition along with proper exercise, you should be able to keep illness at bay.


    Some Facts About German Shepherd Care

    German Shepherds are a special breed. They have high energy, are strong and have oodles of stamina. But they also need a lot of attention and activity. If you are away from home frequently or dont have the time to spend exercising or grooming them, then a German Shepherd isn't the right choice for you. So are you ready to start caring for a German Shepherd? Ask yourself these questions before making a decision:

    Do I have the time and energy to train my German Shepherd?
    Do I have enough space in my home for such a large dog to flourish?
    Am I financially stable to care for my GSD if any health issues arise?

    If you answer yes to these questions, then you are ready to enjoy an action-packed life with
    your furry new friend!

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