Several articles ago I discussed Slink’s summer haircut. While it made her much more comfortable, it also made it much more apparent without all her thick hair, that she had lost weight and had lost a lot of muscling, especially in her hind legs. These are very common occurrences with aging, and while I had seen it in many of patients, I was surprised to see it in my own dog, and I was concerned, just like many owners out there.
As I discussed in my last article, I had already had to change Slink’s food to a mushy version of her kibble to encourage her to eat. I tried just feeding her more, but there seemed to be a limit as to how much she would eat at one time, and it wasn’t helping. I started researching what other diets were available and came upon Royal Canin’s Mature Consult Canned Food. I thought that there would be appeal for Slink in eating canned food- a novelty she had never really had in her life. And this specific food had some added benefits. Royal Canin has it balanced with antioxidants that help to protect brain function in an aging dog, and specific amino acids that can help to preserve and maintain good muscle mass and tone. I started adding a couple spoonfuls to each of her mushy kibble meals, and Slink loves it! I also started adding in another product, which was originally formulated for horses. I was familiar with it because I feed it to my own horse to help maintain his weight because he is in active training. The product is called Healthy Weight, made by Platinum Performance, which is a flax seed oil based product. Though not marketed for dogs specifically, the omega 3 fatty acids are known to help promote weight gain, and it also has those important antioxidants in it. Slink loves this added to her food as well.
Though the addition of these products has made Slink’s mealtime routine a bit more complicated, I am happy to report she has gained almost a pound and a half since we first shaved her! Definitely worth the extra time and money to see her looking happy and healthy at 15 years old!
These products are working for Slink, but may not be right for every dog. If your senior pet is losing weight, let us know. We will first want to make sure there are no underlying medical causes, and if none are found, we can help you come up with a nutrition plan that is right for your dog. Give us a call; we are here to help you and your pet through their senior years. And keep tuning in for more information about the golden years of Slink’s life.