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Senior Food?


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Tracker is 8 1/4 years old now and I guess officially a Senior. He's healthy and has good energy (for a Greyhound). Is there any reason to switch him to Senior food? He gets Honest Kitchen and high quality regular kibble. What's the difference between regular and Senior anyway? Just a sales gimmick?

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I switched Rocket to Precise Senior Food when he started putting on weight. The senior food that Precise has is very similar to their Precise Foundation that he was eating at the time, but had less calories and I think some glucosamine and other supplements added. He has done well on it. The only way to figure out if it's a marketing gimmick is to compare the ingredients, calories, fat, etc to what you are currently feeding and see if you think a switch would be beneficial for any reason.

 

I didn't switch to it for the "senior aspect" so much as to get him on a food with less calories and fat. Rocket has maintained his weight well on the Senior Food with some added green beans and Olewo carrots just to keep him interested in his meals.

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Camp Broodie. The current home of Mark Kay Mark Jack and LaVida I've Got Life.  Always missing my boy Rocket Hi Noon Rocket,  Allie  Phoenix Dynamite, Kate Miss Kate, Starz Under Da Starz, Petunia MW Neptunia and Diva Astar Dashindiva 

 

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Usually senior foods have less protein/fat or calories (more recent studies have shown that seniors actually benefit from more protein). They may also stick in a bit of joint supplement and market that as "Senior" too. I personally would never switch to a senior food for the sake of a dog just hitting a certain age. I prefer to add my own supplements and stick with a higher quality regular diet.

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When I worked for Blue Buffalo my boss told me senior, indoor cat, etc. were marketing gimmicks. She said there wasn't enough glucosamine and chondroitin in senior food to do any good and I've heard that from others. :dunno

Edited by Hubcitypam
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To tailor it to the individual dogs makes the most sense to me, now that I've read your posts. One thing I found is this (one shudders) on what RedHead said:

 

Protein Requirements Do NOT Decrease as Your Dog Ages

 

In fact, studies point to an increased need for protein as your pet ages.

The reason senior dog food formulas have reduced protein content is based on flawed logic.

The exceptionally poor quality protein used in most commercial pet foods is difficult for the bodies of even young, healthy pets to process. Rendered protein sources put chronic strain on your dog’s kidneys and liver as her body attempts to digest and assimilate food that is not biologically suitable.

Years of a diet based on terrible quality, rendered protein compromises kidney and liver function, which is why commercial ‘senior’ dog foods contain less protein than adult maintenance formulas.

Once your pet’s organs start to fail from years of a diet of low-grade protein, if you to continue to feed the same quality diet, you should select a ‘senior’ formula with reduced protein content.

It’s an unfortunate situation, because your dog actually needs more protein as she ages – not less -- in order to maintain healthy lean muscle mass and good organ and immune function. But the type of protein most dogs thrive on is whole, unprocessed, and preferably raw.

Edited by christinepi
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I've never used a "senior food" - just paid close attention to weight gain/loss and adjusted, when needed - and added supplements, when necessary. I decided recently to start joint supplements early, rather than later, so even our new 3-year-old gets them (along with our 8-year-old).

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Guest WhiteWave

I have never used a senior food before, but I had a coupon and it was on sale so I got a bag of the Pro Plan Bright Minds for dogs over the age of 7 and I'm trying it with Ronon. He is doing really well and looks amazing on it. After 3 weeks, he lost the 2 lbs I had been trying to get off him and wasn't working even reducing food. He has more energy. It is 28% protein 12 % fat. He does get fish and coconut oil and joint supplements too, but he has actually been running more and he has really toned up. This food is higher in fiber and poop is really good too.

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