Benefits of Senior Formula Foods
Is a senior formula food right for your pet? Well, we’d say it depends on what kind of food it is. Many commercial pet food makers have blindly copied human diet trends for older people in their pet food formulas, disregarding the physiological differences between human and canine or feline species. Lower protein and fat content with higher fiber and more carbohydrates is not the one-size-fits-all answer for senior pets. Cats in particular have trouble digesting carbohydrates, as they lack the enzymes that omnivores like humans and dogs have.
What’s worse, the generally poor quality of ingredients in most commercial pet foods can cause more harm than good in aging pets. Fiber ingredients in these foods may come from peanut hulls or even newspaper pulp – not something you want your pet eating!
While reducing protein content may be of benefit to your pet, it isn’t an absolute. Keep in mind that most pets thrive on a diet that mirrors what their wild counterparts eat (almost all protein). Unless your pet has a medical condition that requires reducing dietary protein, don’t assume that the food with the lowest protein percentage is the best option for your senior companion. For more information about the importance of protein in pets’ diets, please see our article, “The Role of Protein in Good Nutrition.”
Natural foods for senior pets offer lower protein and fat, while adding back important nutrients like probiotics, enzymes, and sometimes extra omega fatty acids and joint support ingredients to help senior pets. Check out our picks for natural senior foods below.