Do older dogs eat less?

This dog article will answer the major question, “Do older dogs eat less?” we will also discuss the normal reasons for less food eating, the abnormal reasons for less food eating, and the nutritional requirements of older dogs.

Do older dogs eat less?

Yes, older dogs eat less. Older dogs eat less because of their slower metabolism. Some dogs may be suffering from some medical conditions in which there is a reduced diet of the dogs. You should rule out each and every possible cause of the less food-eating of your senior dog.

What are the normal reasons for less food being eaten by your senior dog?

Following are the normal reasons for less food eating of your senior dog:

Age

When the body grows older, it tends to become weak. The stomach does not have the capacity to digest large amounts of food in the body. Due to this reason the senior dog tends to eat less as compared to a puppy or an adult dog.

You should know the exact requirements of your aged dog. 

Slower metabolism

When the body ages, the metabolic rate of the body also declines. Metabolism is the breakdown of food into energy. The older body does not need high energy so the metabolic rate is slow. Senior dogs tend to eat less due to the lower metabolism of the body.

Less activity

When your dog grows old, it doesn’t do much physical activity so the energy requirements of your dog fall. There is less energy needed to carry out daily life activities.

Due to less physical exercise, the senior dog tends to eat less.

What are the abnormal reasons for dogs eating less?

Following are the abnormal reasons for dogs eating less:

Dental problems

Your older dog might have dental problems so your dog will not eat more. Tooth decay could be a problem for your dog. Tooth decay or broken tooth can be very painful and kills the appetite of your dog.

You should open the mouth of your senior dogs and look for any broken tooth or any other problem such as dental tartar. Bad breath is one of the major clinical signs of dental problems in your dog.

Stomach upset

The next problem is stomach upset in your dog. if your dog is not eating well, it means your dog has stomach problems. Your dog might have eaten something that leads to stomach upset. You should look for the following clinical signs in your dog if your dog has an upset stomach:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

Liver problems

The liver is responsible for the appetite of your dog. The liver is a central metabolic station in the body. If there is normal metabolism in your dog, your dog will have a normal appetite. If the metabolism of your dog is compromised, the appetite of your dog is also compromised.

You should look for the following signs in your dog in case of liver problems:

  • Fever
  • Enlarged liver
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Edema of body tissues

Kidney problems

Kidney problems have severe consequences for your dog. The kidney is the major organ for the excretion of harmful metabolites from the body. If the kidney is not working properly the waste material builds up in the body, which can lead to toxicity in the body.

When there is toxicity in the body, the appetite of your dog is killed. In acute renal failure, there is a pain in the abdomen of your dog.

Abdominal pain can also kill the appetite of your dog. Following are the major clinical signs of kidney problems in your dog:

  • Increased blood urea nitrogen level
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased breathing 
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Blood in urine 

What are the nutritional requirements of older dogs?

Following are the nutritional requirements of older dogs:

Low-calorie diet

Older dogs need a low-calorie diet. They need a low-calorie diet because of the little physical activity of your dog. The slower metabolic rate is also a reason, but the major reason is obesity which can reduce the lifespan of your dog. Obesity can cause problems like diabetes.

High protein diet

A high protein diet is required because there is degeneration of the muscles at an older age. You should give a well-balanced diet to your dog if your dog is old.

A high protein diet also gives energy to your dog, so it is better to stick to a high protein diet.

Conclusion

In this brief discussion, we answered the important question, “Do older dogs eat less?” we also discussed the normal reasons for less food eating, the abnormal reasons for less food eating, and the nutritional requirements of older dogs.

References

https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/features/senior-dog-food#1

https://www.allaboutdogfood.co.uk/articles/feeding-an-elderly-dog-how-a-dogs-dietary-requirements-change-with-age

https://www.iams.com/dog/dog-articles/your-mature-dog-eating-less

https://www.pawtracks.com/dogs/old-dog-is-not-eating/

https://www.hillspet.com/dog-care/nutrition-feeding/too-much-protein-in-dog-food#:~:text=Beef%2C%20lamb%2C%20and%20poultry%20don,as%20wheat%20or%20corn%20gluten.

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