If your pooch is looking slightly grey around the muzzle and seems a little slower when out on their daily walks, it may be that age is creeping up on your furry friend.

However, even if your dog is growing older and isn't quite as energetic as they used to be, with the right care and attention there's no reason why your canine companion can't lead a healthy and active lifestyle right into their later years.

Just as with humans, old age can bring health problems for your dog such as poorer eyesight and hearing, dental diseases and certain heart and respiratory conditions.

Therefore, you may find that you need to adapt your care for an older dog to meet their changing needs, and the best place to start is with your pooch's diet.

"The basic understanding of the science has really pushed the needle toward making food and nutrition optimal," veterinarian and nutrition expert Dr. Ernie Ward told the Dog Daily.

"There's nothing better you can do to prevent disease and add longevity than choosing the right food for your pet,"

Older dogs tend to be less energetic and have a slower metabolism than more youthful mutts so in general require fewer calories from their diet.

But it is also important that your dog is still chomping down foods that contain optimum levels of high-quality easily digestible protein, as this is essential to help maintain good muscle mass and overall condition.

Many owners will opt for a prescription dry dog food diet for their pet, especially if they are suffering from medical conditions or are overweight, which are often effective but can be rather expensive.

However, a number of brands such as Burns dog food offer natural alternatives to prescription diets, which offer foods specially designed for senior dogs but at a more affordable price.

"Seniors are living better than ever before," Dr Ward adds. "It's never been a better time to be an old dog."

Written by: Hannah