7 Superfoods for Senior Dogs
Copy: Serena Faber Nelson
Photography: Serena Faber Nelson
As your pup approaches their golden years, there’s no better time than to introduce these superfoods for senior dogs into their diet.
Just like us, as dogs age their nutritional needs vary. Keeping your senior dog’s weight at an optimum level as well as having a healthy balance of vitamins and minerals in their diet will ensure you are keeping them ship-shape for retirement.
We’ve chosen 7 of our favourite superfoods that have excellent health properties, especially for seniors, but can also be enjoyed by dogs at any age.
Want a food that has seven times more Vitamin C than oranges? Eight times more Omega 3 than salmon? Six times more fibre than oat bran? Why say hello to my little friend, Chia.
Great for supporting digestion in senior dogs, Chia also contains 20% Omega 3 ALA – an essential fatty acid which supports brain and heart function. Chia also performs well as an anti-inflammatory agent for skin and irritation problems in senior dogs.
How to use it? You can either sprinkle a small amount on your dog’s meal daily, or combine with water to form as gel which acts as the perfect egg replacement in dog treat recipes.
Oily fish such as Salmon and Sardines make a perfect addition to any senior dog’s diet.
These little fishies are an abundant source of Omega-3 fats which support your senior dog’s immune system, as well as maintaining a healthy skin and coat (because as we all know, the senior blue rinse set can be vicious if you’re not sporting a shiny hair-do!)
Pack them into your pup’s diet, either by adding cooked salmon (NOT raw) or wild caught sardines in spring water to your dog’s dinnertime every so often. Not an everyday food, oily fish are better off served once or twice a week for optimum health.
All Natural Yoghurt
Packed full with calcium and protein, all natural yoghurt is a yummy source of goodness for senior pets.
The probiotics (healthy bacteria) in each spoonful also promote a healthy gut and digestion in dogs – which is great for more sensitive senior tummies.
A great way to serve yoghurt to your dog is through frozen yoghurt treats, or mixed with fresh raspberries or blueberries (another Superfood for Dogs). Just always ensure the yoghurt you are using is all natural, has live active bacteria, and no sugars or artificial sweeteners (it should say so on the container).
NOTE: If your dog has an allergic aversion to dairy, best to skip the yoghurt.
A great choice for senior pooches with sensitive stomaches, the humble pumpkin is a top source of fibre which promotes healthy digestion.
A good dose of pumpkin keeps things ‘moving’ along the digestive tract – something all seniors like to hear!
Super versatile, you can add cooked pumpkin to your dog’s meals or you can mash and add to your favourite dog treat recipes.
Chock full of those Omega 3s, flaxseed oil promotes a healthy skin and coat in senior dogs with its anti-inflammatory properties proving beneficial for pups with allergies.
It’s also believed to be beneficial for senior dogs with joint pain or mobility issues.
Simply grab yourself a bottle and pour the recommended dosage over Fido’s food to serve.
When you’re a senior, it helps to stay regular (if you know what I mean…)
A top source of soluble fibre, oats help seniors dogs do just that.
It’s also a great way to keep overweight pups fuller for longer, as maintaining an ideal body weight for seniors is essential.
They can be served in homemade treats (see our NO-Bake Oats Recipe here) or cooked – but remember your senior pet doesn’t want any of those added sugars or flavourings you would normally add.
An apple a day will keep the doctor away, and it may just keep the vet away too!
A healthy source of Vitamin A, C and phytonutrients (a fancy word for natural chemicals found in plants), fresh apple slices can also help clean your dog’s teeth while chewing. Healthy teeth and gums in seniors is majorly important, making this a double win!
Dogs love them served fresh with the skin on (to keep all those healthy chemicals) – just be always sure to remove any seeds as they are toxic.
WANT MORE SUPERFOOD RECIPES?
For yummy superfood recipes for your dog, download your copy of our eBook 52 Weeks of Treats – Simple & Healthy Dog Treat Recipes for Every Season.
With a handy allergies guide, ingredient benefit glossary AND a whole section just for special occasions (Doggie Birthday Cake anyone?) 52 Weeks of Treats is the ultimate dog treat recipe book. DOWNLOAD IT HERE.