When you’re choosing a senior dog food there are a lot of things to keep in mind. First, it’s important to know when a dog is considered to be “senior.” The actual age of a senior dog varies – from age seven to 13 years, depending on the size and breed. As dogs age, they can also undergo changes including:
- Decreased lean muscle mass and increased fat mass
- Possible weight gain
- Reduced mobility
- Reduced metabolism
- Less shiny and thinner coat
- Greying muzzle
- Less efficient immune system
- Reduced ability to digest and absorb nutrients
- Changes in vision, hearing and taste
- Changes in mental sharpness
Along with these changes, a senior dog’s nutritional needs change. This is why it’s important to feed your senior dog a food formulated specifically to meet his nutritional needs.
For example, at around age seven a dog’s glucose metabolism in the brain begins to change, which can affect memory, learning, awareness and decision-making. Purina® discovered that enhanced botanical oils can be used as an additional energy source for the brain in dogs aged seven and older, helping naturally nourish their minds to help them think more like they did when they were younger.
This proprietary research and discovery led to the creation of Purina® Pro Plan® BRIGHT MIND® ADULT 7+. This innovative formula offers senior dogs nutrition to help meet their unique needs, including:
- High-quality protein, including chicken, as the first ingredient, to support lean muscle mass
- EPA, an omega-3 fatty acid, and glucosamine to help support joint health and mobility
- Vitamin A and linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid, for healthy skin and coat
- Enhanced botanical oils shown to promote alertness and mental sharpness in dogs age seven and older, with visible results within 30 days
When added to the diets of dogs aged seven and older, the enhanced botanical oils in Pro Plan® BRIGHT MIND® ADULT 7+ were shown to promote memory, attention and trainability. Because of this, owners who feed this formula to their senior dogs may see differences in activity, interest in playing, plus ability to adapt and cope with change.
This is one innovative example of a dog food formulated with benefits that are relevant to helping senior dogs live healthy, fulfilling lives. As with any food formulated for a specific life stage, it’s important to make sure that the benefits offered by the formula you choose meet the individual needs of your senior dog. If you have questions about the nutritional needs of your senior dog, consult your veterinarian.