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Do You Know What Food is Best for Your Senior Pet?

By Dr. Becker

According to pet industry estimates, half  the dogs in the U.S. are over the age of six, and over 40 percent of cats are  over seven years old.

In order to come up with special formulas  that can be marketed to consumers with older animals, pet food manufacturers  make assumptions about some of the health challenges your companion will face  as he ages. These include obesity, reduced immune system function, reduced cognitive  function, and osteoarthritis.

I think we can all agree many pets do  encounter one or more disorders associated with aging, but I don’t think it’s  wise to build pet food formulas based on the assumption all older animals  suffer from a set group of maladies.

Pets are individuals just as people are.  There are plenty of senior pets with good body condition, no apparent loss of  cognitive skills, and no signs of arthritis.

Assuming all older pets are sick with A, B  and C, and therefore should be fed pet food formula D is the sort of  one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition that seems to sell commercial pet food,  but doesn’t work well when applied to real dogs and cats.

In addition, in my professional opinion  most pet food manufacturers would do better to improve the quality and  species-appropriateness of their products first … and worry about ‘specialty  formulas’ after they have perfected the basics of high quality pet nutrition.

So how do pet food companies use these  so-called common old age ailments to develop senior pet food formulas?

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