Older dogs may need low-fat dog food

Friday, 17th February 2012

Owners of older dogs that have seen their pets put on weight may like to put them on a low-calorie dog food diet.

That is because dog food tends to cater for young and active dogs who will burn off more calories than their older counterparts, it was stated by vet Dr Lee Pickett to the Reading Eagle.

Giving advice to the owner of a ten-year-old Labrador, who has gained weight over the last year, she said dog treats should only account for five per cent or less of a dog's diet.

It was also revealed that the pet Labrador Grace is taken for daily walks but Dr Pickett suggested that these walks may now be shorter as dogs can develop arthritis when they get older.

If this is the case, dog owners should find another form of exercise for their pet that won't harm their joints such as swimming or an underwater treadmill.

Michael Bellingham, chief executive at the Pet Food Manufacturers' Association, recently stated that the majority of vets believe increasing rates of pet obesity are due to owners feeding their animals human food rather than pet food.