Senior dog food is an important part of an older dog’s health. Unlike some other “specialized” food on the market, senior dog food is actually beneficial to our older dogs. Today, we’re going to discuss what to look for in a food for your older guy or girl with joint issues or who might be prone to joint issues.
Ingredients that Promote Joint Health
If you’re looking for a post on exactly what dog food to buy, this won’t be the one for you. Instead, I’ll be giving you information on what to look for in a food so that you can work with your vet to find the right food for your older dog while using this as a guideline.
We’re going to look at ingredients that help promote joint health, which is of particular importance to large breed dogs. After a lifetime of carrying around all that weight, large and giant breed joints are weary, to say the least.
While not an ingredient per se, reduced calorie foods are critical to joint health. A lean dog is a healthy dog. Not only does a good body composition reduce the risk of cancer and diabetes, being lean also reduces the strain on joints, which can reduce wear and tear.
Look for a food high in antioxidant-rich ingredients or which contains an antioxidant complex. Antioxidants are important to all senior dogs. That’s because antioxidants promote cell health by combating free radicals which cause cellular damage. The tie in here for joints is that antioxidants help reduce damage to all cells, including the cells that build cartilage and tendon.
Omega Fatty Acids
Omega fatty acids should always be on the list of must-have ingredients in a senior dog food for dogs with joint issues or dogs that need extra joint health. Most people think skin and coat when they think of omega fatty acids, but these fatty acids also reduce inflammation and promote joint lubrication, both of which are incredibly important to joint health.
Glucosamine is also an important ingredient for promoting healthy joints in senior dogs. It helps promote joint lubrication and both stimulates cartilage production as well as slows the loss of existing cartilage. This is incredibly important in older dogs. As the cushioning and lubrication of their joints lessens more and more, they become more and more susceptible to arthritis.
Specialized Senior Dog Food for Joint Health
Senior dogs in general need a food developed for their aging bodies, but older dogs with joint issues or who are at increased risk for joint issues need an even more specialized food. Talk with your vet, and look for foods based on his or her recommendation coupled with the ingredients listed above. If you do that, you’re sure to find a senior dog food that’s right for your older guy and his joints.
Do you have a favorite senior dog food for healthy joints? Share your recommendations and tips below.