Contrary to what was previously thought, older pets need protein even more than when they were younger. That’s right. Senior dogs and cats actually need more, not less, protein from a nutritious diet of meat and fish.
Their kidney, liver and immune functions need extra help during the aging process and they get that by eating quality protein that is easily digestible and has sufficient moisture content.
The focus today is on meat. Meat is protein. And carnivores, like domesticated dogs and cats, and their ancestors in the wild, eat meat. That said, let’s take a look at protein.
THE FACTS ABOUT PROTEIN
A dog’s and cat’s body is made up almost entirely of protein which also plays a role in vital body functions such as digestion. In the digestive process, substances are either utilized or eliminated.
Protein needs to be eaten daily because the body doesn’t store it for future use like it does fat. The body needs both sufficient protein as well as good quality protein to perform satisfactorily.
THE POWER OF LIVER
This organ—not eaten nearly enough by humans, by the way—has enormous nutritional value. It is packed with protein and is rich in minerals such as iron, trace minerals, and amino acids, as well as vitamins A, D and all the Bs.
So now, hopefully, we can all agree on the benefits of feeding our canine and feline friends meat and why older pets need protein from this source. But, do we all agree on when older pets actually become senior pets? Let’s find out.
SENIORS – HOW VETERINARIANS AND GUARDIANS DISAGREE
It’s quite interesting to discover that veterinary professionals and pet parents have different ideas on the age that dogs and cats enter the “senior” category. A study shows that they do not agree. Veterinarians consider it starts earlier than pet parents do. Here’s the breakdown.
- Most veterinarians and their staff say it is between 5 and 7 years old.
- More than half of pet parents think it is between 7 and 9 years.
- Most veterinarian professionals say by age 9.
- Most pet parents think it is by age 11.
Are you surprised by the stats? I certainly was!
Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!
SHARING A COMMENT
After reading a teaser I had posted on LinkedIn about this topic, I received a brief comment from Dr. Nicholas H. Dodman, Professor Emeritus at Tufts University, near Boston, Massachusetts, which I would like to share with you. “Unless they have renal insufficiency…”