Dogs age more quickly than people do. For example, an 80-pound dog at the age of 1 year is the equivalent of a human teenager, and at 14 years is the equivalent of an 80- year-old. As dogs age, their metabolic rates and activity levels decrease. Consequently, many older dogs require diets that are lower in fat and slightly higher in fiber and that provide healthy levels of high-quality protein, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.
High-quality protein in sufficient amounts helps maintain muscle and bodily functions. Slightly higher fiber levels help with regularity, minimizing the risk of constipation. Slightly decreased sodium levels help reduce the risk of hypertension. Complete vitamin and mineral supplementation supplies all the essential nutrients, ensuring adequate levels even if loss occurs through increased urination. Consult with your vet for a specific diet and supplement plan for your aging dog.