Senior dogs can be particularly difficult to feed. Their metabolism has slowed down, and they may even have some health concerns that can be helped with the right diet. This homemade senior dog food won't be right for all older pups, so be sure to check with your vet before switching.
As your dog's metabolism slows and he becomes less active, he won't need to eat as many calories each day as he did when he was young and full of energy. He may also need to eat a diet higher in fiber that includes pre- and probiotics for digestive health.
Supplements, like glucosamine and chondroitin, are also beneficial to include in senior food recipes. There are many beneficial supplements that can aid in joint and hip health, digestion, cognitive ability and skin and coat health. Your dog may need assistance in all of these areas, and your vet can help you decide which supplements may be right for your pet.
Before you decide to switch your dog's diet (whether he's a senior or not) you need to discuss the change with your veterinarian or a trained canine nutritionist. Trying to make the switch yourself could lead to malnutrition or nutrient toxicity. This homemade senior dog food will not be nutritionally balanced for every dog, so be sure to check with your vet about supplements and/or multivitamins that would be beneficial to add to the recipe.
Homemade Senior Dog Food Recipe
- 1/4 pound 75-80% lean ground beef
- 2 cups COOKED brown rice
- 1 hard boiled egg (with shell)
- 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
- 1/2 cup blueberries
Brown the beef in a frying pan until cooked completely through. You'll need about 3/4-1 cup of DRY brown rice to make 2 cups of cooked brown rice. Cook the rice according to the instructions on the packaging.
Mash the boiled egg. Combine the egg, cooked brown rice, cooked ground beef, pureed pumpkin and blueberries in a medium-size mixing bowl. Mix until thoroughly blended.
Blueberries are chock-full of nutrition, including some of the most essential vitamins and minerals that are good for dogs:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B complex
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
Blueberries have the highest antioxidants of all foods and help to improve heart health, and blood pressure, and improve memory/brain function. They have even been shown to protect against aging and cancer! For more on the many benefits of adding blueberries to your pet's diet, check out our science-based guide on the subject here.
Pumpkin is also a superfood for senior pets. Pumpkin is incredibly nutritious with relatively few calories and a huge amount of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. One of the biggest benefits of adding pumpkin to this homemade senior dog food is its high fiber content, which aids in digestion and helps with weight control.
If you'd like to feed your senior dog smaller meals throughout the day, divide his daily recommended serving size by the number of meals you'd like to serve. For example, a 50-pound dog would need about 1 cup of food per serving. At 2 servings per day, he would eat about 2 cups of food each day. If you'd rather feed 4 smaller meals each day, feed 1/2 cup over 4 servings.
Keep in mind that more active seniors may need more calories than this, while lazier dogs may not need as many. It's best to check with your veterinarian about the best serving size for your Fido.
You can store leftovers in an airtight container for 3-5 days. You can also make this homemade senior dog food in bulk and freeze it in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
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