If your old dog has suddenly transformed from a voracious eater to a picky one, it’s time you sit up and take notice. You’ve seen the physiological changes taking place in your dog as he approaches his twilight years. Your furry pal is obviously nowhere near the robust, active puppy he used to be. Thus, your dog needs those vitamins and nutrients all the more, and his suddenly becoming a picky eater isn’t helping things.
Before you become frantic with worry on what the diet for a picky eater old dog should be, first you need to understand the probable causes behind his sudden change in appetite. Dogs don’t become picky eaters for no reason (unless they have always been that way since they were puppies), but if your food-loving pooch becomes finicky with his food, there must be something going on.
Here are probable reasons why your old dog suddenly becomes a picky eater:
Like humans, dogs experience a decline in their senses as they get older. Your old dog’s sense of hearing, sight, and smell could be declining, therefore contributing to his lack of interest in eating. Without sight and smell, food becomes bland, uninteresting, and unappetizing, hence the transformation to a picky eater.
Dogs become more prone to aches and pains as they grow older. Arthritis and joint pain are the two most common illnesses affecting dogs. If your old dog has these conditions, they could be the culprit. Walking to his bowl and standing for long ends while eating could be painful and tiring for your dog, so he would rather eat selectively instead, reducing the amount of pain and discomfort he feels.
When was the last time you inspected your dog’s mouth, teeth, and gums? If you haven’t done so in a long time, now is the time to do it. No diet for a picky-eater old dog would work if your pet is having mouth problems, which makes eating less pleasurable. After all, it’s no fun eating with a rotten tooth or swollen gum.
Your vet is the best person to consult when your old dog suddenly becomes a fussy eater. Your vet may conduct examinations and tests on your pet to see if he has any health problems that could be causing his finicky attitude in food. Once that part is done, your vet may then prescribe the appropriate food for your dog, one that’s rich in nutrients and vitamins.
As a pet owner, remember to give your old dog high-quality and nutrient-rich food. Make sure you give him food that’s fresh. A fiber-rich, low-fat diet is best for your old dog since his metabolism becomes slower as he ages. The perfect diet for a picky-eater old dog also includes lots of water to keep him hydrated and help him move his bowels easily. If you think your dog still isn’t eating enough, you might want to add supplements to your dog’s diet. As always, your food choices should earn approval from your vet.
Your old dog might not warm up immediately to his food in spite of these suggestions, so don’t expect a magical transformation to happen overnight. Be patient with your dog. He’ll feel your support better this way.