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When Do You Switch to a Senior Food?
by Jessica Turquette co-owner of Moab BARKery

This is a question we get from many of our customers. You want to do the best for your aging buddy, and most dog food companies make a senior dog formula so it’s natural to assume that your older dog would need to switch. Often people want to know when it’s best to switch as well. Both these questions are not easy to answer but there is a great solution for aging dogs and neither involve switching to senior food.

Senior DogThe aging canine deals with many factors that we can do a lot for with supplements and nutrition. First is that senior foods are always lower in protein and fat that regular adult formulas to combat the weight gain that often comes with less activity and exercise. Most people assume that is best for a senior dog, but the fillers that usually replace the important meat and fat in the food is a bad thing. We recommend reducing the portion size of a regular maintainance food. It’s important to do this slowly, 10% less food for one month than maybe an additional 10% reduction if necessary. You don’t want to incite begging or sad eyes.

The second and more beneficial aspect of senior food is often the addition of glucosamine and Chondroitin for joint support. We do like this aspect of senior food, but it is best to supplement a reduced meal of adult maintenance food than take all the extra fillers that come with the senior formulas. Try a high quality liquid form of Glucosamine, high quality chewable, powder or even treats with the additional supplement. The glucosamine in dog food is often lower quality and its potency and delivery are minimized by the cooking process. Another great way to introduced joint support is to add fish oil (salmon has the most benefit, but even Pollock or Sardine oil is high in Omega-3’s and 6’s). There are also many supplements that provide antioxidants to combat the symptoms of aging as well, these are also a great addition to help make your elderly feel their best for many of their golden years.

We admit that we carry a few food that are categorized as senior for those customers that need the label, and we encourage them to look at other options too. After all we don’t feed senior people any differently than children or even young adults. Just remember that older pets need regular exercise (even if it’s a walk around the block every day) and high quality foods to stay feeling and looking their best. Helping older dogs stay slim and on the move can combat many of the debilitating effects of an aging canine body, and can put off the need for supplements until much later.


Dog Friendly Walks/Hikes in the Moab Area
Trail or Walk Difficulty Length
(one way)
Proximity to Downtown
MillCreek Pathway
easy 1.1 miles Little to no driving
Starts at 100 S & 100 W
Portal Overlook (trailhead @ Jaycee Park) Hard 2.0 miles 25 min drive N on US-191 to W on Utah 279 (4.2 miles)
Moab Rim Hard 3.0 miles
(to hidden valley trail)
8 minute drive
2.6 miles down Kane Creek Blvd from US-191
Negro Bill Canyon
(aka William Grandstaff Canyon)
Moderate 2.0 miles 10 minute drive N on US-191 to W on Utah 128, 3 miles
Hunter Canyon Easy 2.0 miles 25 minute drive (mild off-road) 7.5 miles down Kane Creek Blvd from US-191
Corona Arch Trail Easy/Moderate 1.5 miles 25 minute drive N on US-191 to W Utah 279 (10 miles)
Hidden Valley
(trailhead at end of Angel Rock Rd)
Hard 2.0 miles 10 minute drive
S on US-191 3 miles to Angel Rock Rd
Hidden Valley
(trailhead at end of Angel Rock Rd)
Moderate 2.2 miles 35 minute drive
N on US-191 to Utah 128, then 21 miles

Moab BARKery Ad Moab BARKery website

To see past articles about animals, pets and their care check our archives.

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