Seniors and high protein diets?

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#1
Guys-

As you all know, I have a senior dog sanctuary. I have been trying to find a good food for seniors...I have a couple that are sensitive to wheat & dairy and a couple that have a beef sensitivity, so I am trying to stay away from those ingredients. I am currently feeding Solid Gold Just A Wee Bits. I have tried Natural Ultramix Adult Canine and they poop out the fruits & veggies. I have also tried Nutro Senior (my husband came home with it because the lady at the feed store said it was wonderful), but I really didn't like the ingredients and the dogs didn't like the food, so the full bag is still sitting there. I have been looking at the grain-free dog foods, but they are all very high in protein, and I am hesitant because my vet always preaches about older dogs having difficulty processing protein. I have tried to talk to them, and of course, they recommend Science Diet...I did follow their instructions (until seeing the light) and I had a high incidence of urinary tract infections, skin conditions, etc. I have researched and there seems to be a link to these problems and the ingredients in the dog food that I used to feed (Science Diet). I have really had a struggle because some people say to stay away from anything with salmon because of mercury, and others say no grain, but others say good quality grain is okay...the bottom line is that I want to provide a high quality food without over-taxing the kidneys...any direction? I am currently considering Artemis Fresh Mix Small Breed Adult...picking pet food should not be this difficult...
 
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#2
We have several customers that come into our store with senior pets and the vets are actually starting to recommend a high protein food for seniors as they are more prone to muscle loss and need the extra protein.

As far as being hard on them, as long as the protein is from an animal source and there are no underlying kidney problems, a high protein diet isn't a problem for a senior. If the kidneys are showing signs of weakness, a low phosphorus diet is typically suggested.

Perhaps take a look at Orijen's senior blend. It is a high protein, low carb, no grain food. I personally think carbs are more of a problem for a senior dog as they are very hard on a dog's pancreas, contribute to the onset of diabetes, contribute to obesity, and do not provide nearly the nutrition a senior dog needs. Not to mention the role they play in so many urinary issues.

Yes, choosing a pet food can be difficult. But, if we take a step back and try to keep things as natural and simple as possible, it doesn't have to be so hard.
 

elegy

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#3
I'm kind of in the same position with my older guy. I struggled for quite awhile to find a higher-protein but not 42% food, and finally ended up with Wellness CORE and he's doing great on it. CORE is 34% protein and 14% fat.

Protein, btw, does not cause kidney failure. Even dogs with mild-moderate kidney failure are now supposed to be fed moderate amounts of high quality protein.
 
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#4
Thanks guys. I will check out both foods. I understand that high protein doesn't cause kidney disease. My vet has told me that a high protein diet makes the already compromised kidneys have to work harder. Kidney problems don't usually show up on blood tests until more than 75% of kidney function is lost, so I would like to be safe rather than sorry because it can remain undiagnosed for so long. Since I have dogs coming to me with no health history, it's nearly immpossible to know that I have a problem until it's too late. I know that it is important that the protein come from a good quality source and EVERY label claims that their ingrediaents are the best...elegy-can you direct me to the source of the new dietary guidelines for kidney disease? I am interested in reading more about the new recommendations. Perhaps I can show my vet, who thinks that the only answer is Science Diet.
 
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#7
I ordered Orijen Senior today...it is going to cost me a fortune to feed my brood because of shipping...it isn't available locally...but, it should be worth it if it minimizes trips to the vet and maximizes their quality of life. Thanks for all of the help and suggestions!
 

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