Let’s face it, most dogs will pretty much eat whatever is offered to them. All they require is food that looks and tastes good and  they’re happy. As pet owners, we know it is not that simple. In addition to that all important question of what is safe for my pet, I need to understand the nutritional needs of my pets in order to provide the best diet possible. Since my dogs are older and are considered “senior” dogs,  I know that the needs of their bodies at this stage in life are different than they were when they were puppies. The objective of feeding my dogs should be to maintain good health, consistency in weight and to slow the development of diseases that are often associated with the aging process. Wait a minute – that sounds just like how I should be feeding myself! I will admit to being considered a “senior” myself and as they say, with age comes wisdom. I know that to feel and do my best, which is true for my dogs too, we need the foundation of an appropriate diet.

The Basics All Dogs RequireFB_IMG_1444562403289

  • Protein
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Carbohydrates
  • Fats
  • Water

What Happens as Dogs Age = The Nutrients They Need Become Specific

Dogs can begin to show signs of aging as early as 7 years and typically bigger dogs age faster than smaller dogs. The systematic changes and concerns that dogs develop are similar to ours:

  • A slowing down of metabolism and resulting obesity
  • Decrease in the effectiveness of the immune system and our ability to battle infections
  • Digestive issues
  • Dental problems

Nutrients that are especially important in the older dogs diet:IMG_0006.2014-10-04_151802

  • Protein
  • Fatty acids and probiotics
  • Antioxidants

As we continue to learn about pet safety, I want to share with you the results of my research of the many options we face in choosing what to feed our pets. I wish to let you know, through reviews, what I have discovered is both safe for my pet and good for my pet. Considering the history of safety concerns in the pet food industry, I think it is also important that we learn about the companies that we support when we purchase their products.

 

 

11 comments on “So How Do I Feed My Dogs?

  • Such a helpful and informative post! it is so easy to just buy whatever dog food is readily available, and most people don’t think twice about ingredients! And don’t even get me started on giving animals people food! There are certain things that they require that humans can live without! nice post, well written and informative.

    • Hi Anxiousyogi,

      Thanks for your comments and I agree with you about human food – there is nothing sadder that an overweight pet who got that way from way too many table scrapes.

      Take Care,

      Erin

  • I like your site. Lay back and not pushy or preachy, if that’s a word, easy to follow. I especially appreciated the story about the Chinese imports. I’m not a pet owner now, but I was then and that was crazy stuff. It was also good to remind everyone that a pet is not like your little brother, you can’t just throw them scraps of food and that’s ok. There are some new food concerns coming out in the news just recently so this requires a constant awareness. Thanks for reviewing the basics.

  • I wonder if bread is okay? My cousin has a pet dog, I don’t which kind (I’m kinda…dumbfounded when it comes to animal breeds in general), I always feed her bits and pieces of bread. She goes crazy during parties constantly wanting to eat food but it pales in comparison so my friend’s brother’s boyfriend’s dog who will legitly try to “attack” and annoy people when near food, he’s a bit of work.

    • Hi and thanks for visiting. It is ok to occasionally give a dog bread as a treat, but not too often as it has a high calorie count without a lot of nutrition. Also, you would never want to give a dog bread if they have a gluten allergy. Great question!

      Take Care,

      Erin

  • Hi there Erin,

    As pet owners, we should (ideally) feed our doggies according to their life-stages or if, they have a disease condition.

    I work at the vet clinic and we see a lot of young pets being underfed, because people want to maintain their small sizes and ‘cuteness’ and senior dogs being overfeed because ‘he likes to eat whatever he wants’.

    Everyone has their own nutrition ideas and it’s really hard to change old habits or a family culture sometimes. We could only recommend as much as we can and hopefully get them to stick with a pet food formula long enough before other condition emerges.

    • Hi Cathy,

      Thanks for visiting and for your great comments. I think too many pet owners get caught up in marketing and base their pets diet off what the producer of a pet food wants us to believe. We need to be researchers of what is in food, as well as knowing what is best for our pet based on their current health. We cannot allow pictures of happy dogs and claims of nutritional superiority to cloud what our pets need to thrive.

      Take Care,

      Erin

  • Thanks for creating this site. I have already learned alot about additives in my dogs food and have moved up to a better brand.What veggies do you recommend I see you advocate a probiotic bacon treat a great idea as Vets often unload antibiotics for every aliment imaginable even more that human patients.Do you have any knowledge about supplementing dog food with minerals or supplements for older dogs ,,,,,,this would be great info to know. I just book marked your site as I have 2 older labs……..

    • Hi Martin,

      Thanks for visiting my site and for your great questions. In my post http://safeforyourpet.com/so-how-do-i-feed-my-dogs, I talk about the importance of protein, antioxidants, fatty acids and probiotics for older dogs. For a natiural and holistic approach to supplementing your senior dog’s diet, I recomend visiting wysong.net. Wysong supplements are natural and are designed to restore the nutrients lost in the the production of pet food. For a list of vegetables that are safe for your dog, please come back to visit as I plan a future post about this!

      Take Care,

      Erin

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