My dog just turned 14. She’s the pretty face you see here, lapping up a sample of chicken crockpot stew.
She is not as sharp as she used to be, but as of her last wellness check, she was free of any disease, acute or chronic.
Contrast this to many people I have corresponded with, whose dogs have cancer, diabetes, kidney or bladder stones — and the list goes on. And these dogs are anywhere from a year old, on up. Too young to be sick!
So what is going on?
As someone who is focused on diet and nutrition, I truly believe most of it stems from food.
In my opinion, dogs should be eating real, whole foods, just like we should.
With that, here is my general protocol for keeping my 14 year old dog healthy so far, at age 14.
Every day — meals include:
- A variety of meats, including beef, chicken or fish
- A variety of vegetables, including butternut squash, peas, spinach, kale and broccoli – all cooked. Dark leafy greens like spinach may be the most digestible, which is important for any dog but is a special consideration for senior dogs
- A variety of oils, including olive, coconut and small doses of cod liver oil
Some days, accents to meals include:
- Small servings of fruit, including watermelon, cantaloupe or blueberries
- Small servings of brown rice
- A handful of cooked beans
- Small servings of dairy including yogurt or cheese
- Small doses of cod liver, a few times a week (about 1/4 teaspoon)
- 1-2 cranberry extract pills per day, to combat urinary tract infections which she has had
- Glucosamine hydrochloride/chondroitin sulfate combination, 1/2 a human dose – this dosage was based on her weight, and yours will likely be different depending on your dog’s weight
- Fish oil pills, 3x / week – best sources of omega-3 include anchovy and sardines, or wild salmon
I suggest dog parents begin feeding their furkids a diet that includes many of the above kinds of foods. It is truly an investment in the future!