Should My Pet Eat a Senior Diet?

It is more important for your senior pet to eat a healthy, minimally processed food than to eat a "senior" diet.

One of the more common questions presented in the clinic is when should an animal guardian consider changing their pets’ diet to a specific senior formula. This is one of the most misunderstood areas of animal nutrition. As a holistically oriented veterinarian, the most important aspects to healthy feeding include a minimally-processed, preferably raw pet food diet if possible, that mimics what pets evolved to eat in the wild.  If this is not possible, a minimally-processed diet such as PetGuard or Wysong are indeed acceptable alternatives. Such foods have been hallmarks in holistic veterinary medicine for decades, and will almost certainly never be found on a pet food recall list.

I find it even more important to maintain most healthy adult or senior pets on diets such as those mentioned here, in order to maintain optimal health and aging organ function. The only time I will consider feeding a senior pet food or possibly a low-protein food is when a pet has advanced pathology of its liver or kidneys, as determined by blood work, so that workload can be reduced on these vital organs. However, in most healthy senior pets, I find it counterproductive to change formulas and/or reduce protein, because I find that in many cases these senior diets are nutritionally inferior, and by feeding them, we may lead to increased health problems in our beloved senior pets.

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  1. 11 yr old golden retriever has developed other ball sized stones in bladder and urethra. Diet suggestions?

  2. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 24, 2013 at 2:16 am

    I would ask your vet about prescription diet such as Royal Canine SO diet which may help.

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