Dogs are considered seniors when they reach about half their life expectancy. Large breeds age faster with their life expectancy being between 9 to 14 years while that of small breeds is at 15 to 20 years. As dogs age their metabolic rate slows down, it is therefore important to feed them an appropriate diet low calories and high in fiber to promote digestion but even younger, healthy dogs can benefit from a proper diet.
Vegetables offer a good alternative to commercial food treats as well as dietary supplements. They have high nutritional value, low calories and high in fiber. These include:
Pumpkins either pureed or canned contain high fiber content which helps in bowel problems such as constipation, diarrhea, and indigestion. They can be consumed raw or cooked.
Pumpkin seeds are rich in Vitamin A, beta carotene and vitamin C which help essential for the healthy growth of skin, hair and also dog vision. They are also high in essential fatty acids and antioxidants which help to boost immunity which helps fight off infections especially within the urinary system. They are also low in calories making them suitable for obese dogs.
Avocados are packed with a variety of nutrients essential for dogs of all ages.
They are packed with essential fatty acids i.e. Omega 3 fatty acids which help in healthy glossy hair. They work together with Vitamin E to promote healthy skin growth especially in dogs which suffer dermatitis.
Vitamin A also found in avocados is essential in maintaining good vision, one of the common illnesses in senior dogs.
Vitamin C helps in boosting immunity, absorption of nutrients, healthy skin and gum health.
They are also rich in fiber good for digestion. It also promotes weight loss which in turn helps in the prevention of heart disease and diabetes common in senior dogs.
Their high protein content helps in the growth and repair of body muscles and cells.
Avocados are also rich in niacin which helps in lowering triglycerides and increase high-density cholesterol. This in effect helps in preventing heart disease. Check out our detailed post where we answer the question can dogs eat avocado.
Carrots sweet taste and crunchy texture make them ideal for scraping off plaque from teeth which helps keep off gum diseases. Vitamin A is an essential vitamin which has to be supplemented in the dog’s diet. Carrots contain high vitamin A and beta carotene which is essential for good eye health. Vitamin A also acts as immune booster and maintenance of good skin and hair health.
Carrots are also high in fiber and low in calories making them suitable treats for senior dogs. They should, however, be lightly cooked or steamed as they are indigestible when eaten raw.
Their crunchy texture just like carrots helps in removing plaque which helps keep off gum disease. They are also rich in vitamin A and C which helps in maintaining good vision, hair and skin health as well as in boosting immunity.
Green beans rank high in nutritional value and a favorite among canines. They contain high fiber and calorie content which helps in relieving constipation, indigestion, diarrhea, and obesity respectively.
They are also rich in protein essential for muscle health and regulation of cell physiological processes. Their high calcium content helps in maintaining healthy bones too.
Oatmeal is highly nutritious. It is rich in fiber good for senior dogs with bowel problems. It is also rich in protein which helps in the repair of muscles, connective tissues and in maintaining cell physiological processes. Oatmeal provides a good substitute for dogs that are allergic to wheat. It should, however, be cooked before being served.
This includes celery, broccoli, cabbage, sprouts, and asparagus among others. They contain high amounts of antioxidants which help in preventing cancers. They are high in fiber, omega 3 fatty acids, and vitamins A, B1, E and B6. Minerals such as manganese, phosphorus, zinc, and calcium are also found in these vegetables.
They should be served cooked and in moderation to avoid stomach upset.
Vegetables are highly nutritious and offer a good alternative to commercial supplements and treats which contain high calories and low fiber content. They should, however, be fed in moderation and introduced slowly in the diet. Some may require being cooked lightly or steamed as they are indigestible when fed raw.
Most modern-day pet parents don’t have the time to go 100% natural food, if this is the case then do the best you can to prepare natural vegetables and compliment your pet’s diet with a high-quality supplement like Ruff Hero’s.