Unlike larger-breed dogs that are considered mature or senior at age 5, small-breed dogs usually don’t experience age-related changes as early. But by age 7, your small dog is mature or senior, and his nutritional requirements are changing. You can help keep your dog active, happy and healthy with a specially formulated mature diet that delivers highly digestible, enhanced nutrition.
The Signs of Aging in Small-breed Dogs
The changes your small dog is going through affect him in many ways. You may notice a dull, dry coat and flaky skin, energy loss or weight gain, more frequent intestinal problems, joint stiffness and a loss of lean muscle mass. It’s true that an aging dog may require fewer calories, but your mature or senior dog still needs high-quality protein and carefully balanced nutrients.
What to Look for in Mature or Senior Small-breed Dog Food
What your dog needs is a high-quality, balanced maintenance food formulated for a small dog’s changing metabolism. Look for options with these age-essential nutrients:
- Antioxidants such as vitamin E and beta-carotene to help boost the immune system
- High-quality animal-based protein sources to help maintain muscle mass
- Special fiber sources such as beet pulp to help maintain intestinal health and support your dog’s ability to absorb age-essential nutrients
- A special carbohydrate blend of healthy grains for sustained energy
These ingredients are the keys to mature nutrition whether you feed dry or wet dog food or give your dog treats.
Additionally, small dogs have small mouths and small stomachs. A nutrient-dense mature formula with smaller kibble may help make food easier for your dog to chew.
Special Needs of Mature or Senior Small-breed Dogs
Older, less-active dogs are prone to weight gain. Keeping your dog at a healthy weight can help minimize the risk of developing diabetes or joint stress. Your dog can benefit from a weight-control diet with these key ingredients:
- A reduced fat level that still offers essential nutrients for skin and coat health
- L-carnitine, a key nutrient that helps burn fat during weight loss
- Special carbohydrate blends that help maintain energy while managing weight
While your mature or senior dog’s nutritional needs may be changing, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have many active, happy years ahead. Make sure your dog can make the most of them by feeding him a proper diet designed for mature small-breed dogs.
adp_related_article_block207 279 YOUR --spice-- MAY ALSO LIKE …
adp_related_article_block207 Continue scrolling for next content
What Is Bloat?
Bloat is a life-threatening condition that acts rapidly and can lead to death within hours if not recognized and treated immediately. Unfortunately, the cause of bloat remains unknown at this time.
The scientific term for bloat is gastric dilatation-volvulus or GDV. Bloat is characterized by rapid and abnormal expansion of the stomach with gas (dilatation). This can be followed by rotation of the stomach (volvulus). This rotation closes both the entry to and exit from the stomach. The blood vessels also are closed down, and blood flow is restricted.
What follows is an increase in pressure inside the stomach and compression of the surrounding organs. Eventually, shock will occur as a result of the restricted blood flow. Here are a few key facts about bloat:
- Bloat should always be treated as a medical emergency.
- Bloat can kill a dog within hours after onset.
- The cause of bloat is unknown.
- Bloat affects 36,000 dogs in the United States each year; 30% die as a result of this condition.
- Bloat can occur in dogs of any age.
- Certain breeds are more susceptible to bloat, particularly deep-chested dogs.
- The stomach rapidly expands with gas then rotates on the long axis. Entry to and exit from the stomach is prohibited, causing blood vessels to close and restriction of blood flow.
Signs of Bloat
Bloat is a true medical emergency, and early identification and treatment is critical to survival.
In the early stages of bloat, the dog will be very uncomfortable. You might see him pacing and whining or trying unsuccessfully to get into a comfortable position. He might seem anxious, might lick or keep staring at his stomach, and might attempt to vomit, without success.
Other indications of bloat can include weakness, swelling of the abdomen, and even signs of shock. Signs of shock are increased heart rate and abnormally rapid breathing.
If you notice these signs, call your veterinarian immediately!
- Inability to get comfortable
- Pacing or restlessness
- Pale gums
- Unproductive attempts to vomit
- Abnormally rapid breathing
- Increased heart rate
- Pain, weakness
- Swelling of the abdomen (particularly the left side)
Helping Prevent Bloat
These suggestions could help you prevent bloat in your dog. However, they are based on suspected risk factors and are not guaranteed to prevent the onset of bloat.
- Feed small amounts of food frequently, two to three times daily.
- Avoid exercise for one hour before and two hours after meals.
- Don't let your dog drink large amounts of water just before or after eating or exercise.
- If you have two or more dogs, feed them separately to avoid rapid, stressful eating.
- If possible, feed at times when after-feeding behavior can be observed.
- Avoid abrupt diet changes.
- If you see signs of bloat, call your veterinarian immediately.
Another way you might help prevent bloat is to feed a high-quality, highly digestible food with normal fiber levels.
Feeding management offers the best method available for reducing risk until the exact cause of bloat can be identified. Although not 100% effective, these measures can reduce the number of dogs that face this serious, life-threatening condition.
- German Shepherd
- Bouvier de Flandres
- Great Dane
- St. Bernard
- Doberman Pinscher
- German Shorthaired Pointer
- Irish Setter
- Gordon Setter
- Irish Wolfhound
- Labrador Retriever
- Basset Hound
adp_related_article_block110 290 YOUR --spice-- MAY ALSO LIKE …adp_related_article_block110Continue scrolling for next content