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  #1  
Old 02-08-2005, 10:44 AM
YorkieLover YorkieLover is offline
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Default When to feed senior food?

As you all know we have 2 yorkie boys believed to be 8 years old... I am getting alot of great feedback on food based on them not having many teeth but there is some discrepancies on if they should have senior food. We were told they both could stand to gain a couple pounds since when you pet them you can feel their ribs/spines. Any thoughts?
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Old 02-08-2005, 11:25 AM
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Hmmm . . . normally they would be ready for senior food, but since they are underweight there might be a difference. Mordy would have the best answer on this one, I think.
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  #3  
Old 02-08-2005, 12:28 PM
YorkieLover YorkieLover is offline
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Thanks Renee.
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Old 02-08-2005, 01:34 PM
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I consider ages 6 and up senior. That's JMO.
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Old 02-08-2005, 05:39 PM
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i would not feed a healthy dog senior food at all.

the reasoning behind this is that most senior foods are just drastically reduced in protein and fat, which are the two most important things a dog needs in the diet. older dogs with a slower metabolism have to work harder at extracting nutrients, so decreasing important ones is not something that supports their health. if the dog is rather inactive, reducing the overall amount fed daily by a little bit is the better way to go.

that being said, there are a few senior foods on the market now that really are improved for the specific needs of older dogs and not just reduced in calories. these foods have a higher protein content and a reduced amount of fat (but with an increased amount of essential fatty acids) and are often formulated with lower levels of phosphorus to take stress off the kidneys. one of these is eagle pack senior care.

as for when is a dog considered a senior?

that depends on a number of things, breed and genetics first and foremost. a large or giant breed like a great dane or mastiff could be considered a senior at age 6 since they don't have a very long lifespan to begin with, 10 years being on the high end of the scale already.

small dogs often have a life expectancy of 15+ years, so 6 years isn't even a "halfway mark" for them yet.

i do not agree with the arbitrary labeling of dogs as seniors which is mainly perpetuated by the pet food industry giants like hill's, purina etc. their only goal is to sell you yet another "specialized" product and in the case of senior food (reduced protein/fat, increased carbs) that means a greater profit margin for them.

my own great dane lived to be over 11 years old and ate regular adult food all his life. my wirehaired dachshund will be 13 1/2 in march and also does not eat senior food, in fact i was able to convince my mom (whom she lives with now) to switch her to a mostly raw diet with lots of meaty bones.
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Old 02-09-2005, 01:23 AM
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Thanks for the input, Mordy. By the way, which foods, besides the Eagle Pack that you mentioned, really are properly formulated to support the older, less active dog?
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Old 02-09-2005, 11:10 PM
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the only ones that immediately come to mind are eagle pack senior and royal canin natural blend senior. overall i'd say of the more well known "big names" on the pet food market, royal canin generally has the best idea about proper senior food.

generally i'd look for something that has a higher amount of protein than the mainstream adult foods (about 21-24%) but a lower ratio of fat (12%-15% in adult foods).
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Old 02-10-2005, 12:48 AM
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Hum.. I heard that dogs are consider senior when they turn 5 years old.
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Old 02-10-2005, 03:46 AM
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candy, that doesn't make sense, since there are so many different breeds which all age at different rates. it's just as much of a stupid blanket statement as "one human year is 7 dog years".
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Old 02-10-2005, 09:03 AM
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Candy, a lot of that kind of silly information gets put in our heads by marketing departments. Have you noticed that most senior dog foods are more expensive than the regular formulas? A company can sell a lot more of the higher priced food if they can convince you that your dog is officially senior at such a young age.

I get irritated every time I see that commercial put out by a large manufacturer of killer dog food that says "We're for dogs." Talk about misleading propaganda!
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Stupid is the most notoriously incurable and contagious disease known to mankind. If you find yourself in close proximity to someone infected with stupid, walk away as soon as said infection is noted.


There are few things more nauseating than pure obedience. ~ Kvothe

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