Cooking Food for Picky Senior Dogs

Older dogs need less protein and more fiber in their diets.

Older dogs need less protein and more fiber in their diets.

As dogs age, they often have less of an appetite naturally. This can make picky eaters even harder to please. Cooking food for senior dogs with particular palates ensures they get adequate nutrients to remain healthy. Cover all the major food groups when preparing meals for your pet.

Meat and Fish

Several types of meat work well for senior dogs, and feeding a variety of meats gives your dog access to many types of fatty acids. Beef offers nutrients including zinc and iron. To keep a senior dog slim, cook beef and drain off fat before serving. Chicken is a fairly neutral protein that your picky dog may like. Dark meat offers more nutrients. Fish offers omega-3s that support your senior dog's immune system and skin health and reduce inflammation. Feed a whole fish meal one to two times a week.

Vegetables

Greens are good for your older dog too, just as they're good for you. Sweet potatoes offer fiber, vitamin C and beta carotene. Cook these and add them to your dog's dinner. Steamed broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower deliver antioxidants and add variety. Give your senior dog a small amount of veggies with meat. Offer more if he likes them. The fiber in vegetables can aid senior dogs with constipation, something dogs often struggle with as they age.

Grains

Cooked grains add vitamins, minerals and additional fiber to your dog's diet. Oatmeal is bland and soothing, and can pair with an array of other foods. White rice is also good for dogs, yet mild enough that your picky eater shouldn't complain. Pair oatmeal, rice and other grains with a protein source and vegetable for a rounded meal.

Tips

Before you embark on a home-cooked dogie diet, check in with your vet to ensure your older dog has no health problems. Diabetes, dental problems and kidney problems can all affect your dog's appetite. When your vet gives your dog a clean bill of health, start cooking. If you can't cook every meal for your dog, try adding a bit of chicken broth or wet dog food to your pet's kibble to make it more appetizing.

 

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