'Senior dog food' required for elderly dog who has become a fussy eater

Wednesday, 19th September 2012

An elderly Yorkshire Terrier who has become a fussy eater may benefit from a  dog food diet catering to older animals, an expert has said.

Pete Wedderburn, a vet writing for the Daily Telegraph, was contacted by a reader whose 12-year-old dog has started turning her nose up to all manners of dog food.

By mistake, the owner gave the dog some cat food, which she enjoyed thoroughly.

The vet replied: "Ideally, your Yorkie should be given a 'senior' type diet, designed for older small dogs, with carefully controlled levels of various nutrients.

"In practice, if she enjoys eating tinned cat food, she’s likely to thrive on it: it’s a nutritionally balanced product that will give her everything she needs."

Dr Wedderburn added that while dogs can eat cat food, dog food should never be given to cats because it does not contain a nutrient that felines  are unable to "synthesise" themselves.

If cats do not consume this nutrient, they can develop serious illness.

The vet noted that the perfect pet food diet is useless if the animal refuses to eat it, so there is a balance between what it wants and what it needs has to be struck.