In “Three Things Every Owner of an Older Dog Should Be Doing” (10-26-2012), Dr. Becker writes:
Contrary to what many pet owners and even veterinarians believe, studies indicate dogs (and cats) need more protein as they age, not less.
The reason senior dog food formulas boast reduced protein content is because the poor-quality protein they use is difficult to digest, especially for older dogs who’ve been fed the stuff all their lives.
The rendered protein sources used by most major pet food manufacturers put chronic strain on the kidneys and liver, so by the time a dog is into her senior years, her organs can no longer do their job efficiently. This is why commercial reduced protein diets for senior pets were created.
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.
Senior and even geriatric dogs still need daily exercise to maintain good health and a resilient frame. Certainly older dogs can’t exercise or compete with the same intensity as the younger set, but they still need regular walks and other age-appropriate physical activity.
© Copyright 1997-2012 Dr. Joseph Mercola. All Rights Reserved.
Similar mistakes are made in human nutrition and aging.