Do older dogs sometimes need MORE food?
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Thread: Do older dogs sometimes need MORE food?

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    patm's Avatar
    patm is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultDo older dogs sometimes need MORE food?

    Emilu is 9 years old and in very good health. She had always been on the heavy side (up to 85 lbs) for 7 years, until we got Baxter. Then she became much more active, and lost about 13 lbs - she now weighs 71 lbs and looks like a lab should. I thought that she might also be one of those dogs that just got a little thinner as she got older, instead of heavier. But she really seems to be hungry all the time. She has taken to going down in the middle of the night and raiding the cats food bowl, and tonight she went down while we were still up. I feed her 1 cup of good quality dog food twice a day, with some yogurt and a large dog biscuit as a treat. She also gets some little snacks of what we eat, but not that much. I might add that Baxter, who is a 2 year old male, and weighs 81 lbs gets the same amount of food and does not look at all thin. Could it be that she just isn't getting enough food to keep her from feeling hungry all the time? I think I'll try giving her a little more dog food twice a day, but if that doesn't work,might go to a filler like green beans so she feels full but doesn't gain weight. What do you all think?

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    tammyhuffman is offline Senior Member
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    I would give her a bit more and maybe a green bean snack before bed and see how that works. If she has just suddenly started to steal kitty food maybe a vet check and bloodwork are in order. I just worry when eating habits change suddenly.
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    What does the bad say? It does sound like 2 cups of food a day isn't very much. I would guess that she got overwight before from too many goodies, not her kibble. Sophie eats about 4 cups a day, divided into 2 meals. She is on Canidae grain free, and that is what the bag says is correct for her weight. She is 77lbs. According to the bag, a dog that is fed 1 1/2 to 2 cups a day would weigh 10 to 25 lbs. So if your food is comparable to ours, 2 cups is under feeding by quite a bit. I did notice the bag indicates that older dogs, or seniors should be fed less, not more.
    Last edited by Sophiesmama; 08-30-2012 at 04:22 AM.
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    I think each dog metabolises food differently. I go by how they look as to how much I feed. Erns is 10.5 and has always had about 2 and a half cups a day. I use some for treats so gets a little more than that. Tess needs a little more.

    Erns had Eukanuba once and in a sort time put on a lot of weight the vet kept telling me to feed less. I was almost counting the bits of kibble out so gave it away.

    He has been on RC for about 4 years and is a good weight. Sometimes he will want more so I give him a little before bed. Obviously being a Lab he will eat more than I want him to, but I have learned to listen to him when he wants a little more.

    I would try a little more and see if it helps and he doesn't put on weight.

    I think if his eating habits have changed and he is raiding the cats food I would mention it to the vet. Have you changed the cat food and it is more appealing.
    Last edited by kassabella; 08-30-2012 at 08:43 AM.

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    joflake is offline Senior Member
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    I think if she's more active now, she might need a little more food.

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    Belles mom is offline Senior Member
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    I'd try a bedtime snack also. Maybe a 1/4 cup of food or so. It may keep her from raiding he cat's food, and give her a balanced increase in food. Maybe in a Kong with a bit of peanut butter?


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    bett is offline Senior Member
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    when was the last time you did a senior blood panel?
    i'd as to check her thyroid also. (t4 i believe)

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    Hmm... I know with Kolby (~8yrs old) I just switched his food because he has become more active with having a much larger yard and being outdoors more. He was getting 3 cups of food a day (more than the suggested feeding) plus snacks, but he was still getting thin. I opted for a similar food with higher fat and protein.

    I'd say try feeding her a bit more food (you can always cut back later if she starts to get heavy again).. but I'm thinking because she's more active, she might just need more food.

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    If I fed mine every time they looked hungry, I'd be poor and they'd weigh 1000 lbs. If she is healthy (do that blood panel) and active, I'd keep her at about 71. As she ages her joints will that you for not upping the food.
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    I've read that as they get older they need better quality food( as opposed to more food) for brain function etc. But some people say that they need less protein. Hard to know who to listen to. From my own experience, my dogs were happy on grain free high protein kibble right up until the end (15 years), and never lost their marbles.

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