After you are 35 years old, you begin to lose 1-2% of you muscle yearly. After 5-6 years of age your dog will begin to lose .5-1% of her muscle mass yearly. This muscle loss, or sarcopenia, will occur to 100% of humans and 100% of dogs. It can only be prevented or slowed by eating more protein and weight lifting. You can do both. Your dog can’t lift weights, but he can eat more protein in his senior years.
So why are senior diets for dogs lower, not higher, in protein?
Senior Dog Diets
As a general rule, commercial dog foods are not very high in protein (20-28% of calories). Senior diets are often 18% of calories from protein to protect older dogs from kidney disease. Why? Managing chronic kidney disease requires a lower protein diet. But only 10% of geriatric dogs will develop chronic kidney disease in later life.
And guess what, protein doesn’t cause kidney disease and this amount of protein in commercial foods is still not low enough to help a dog that does have kidney disease.
So why design senior diets for the 10% of dogs with kidney disease when 100% will experience muscle loss? It doesn’t make sense.
Better would be to have a senior blood profile run on your dog and check her kidneys. If she does have kidney disease, then she can be put on a truly kidney friendly diet. If, like most dogs, his kidneys are working fine, you can feed a high protein diet and preserve his muscle tone. The Well Dog Place offers many options (dry, canned, frozen, refrigerated and homemade) that are all high in protein content.
If you are too far away to see Dr. Tudor in person, but still wish to make your own balanced dog food at home using Dr. Tudor's exclusive nutrient powder, omega 3 oil and recipes, we now offer two options for you:Healthier Homemade for Dogs
When you need or want custom recipes that are personalized for your fur family, our sister site Healthier Homemade can help you out. Because this service is remote, we are unable to give medical advice or diagnosis, so we work with your veterinarian to make sure your fur family is well cared for.
At Healthier Homemade, we offer Medical Recipe Programs for 14 different conditions. See them in detail here.
There are an assortment of recipe formulations for dogs with diagnosed Food Allergies. They include, High Protein, Instant, and Economy options.
If you have all Normal Adult Dogs in your fur family and wish to have more control over the formulations of your recipes, we offer Economy, Instant, High Protein, and Ultra-High Protein (including a few all meat options).
With all of our custom recipes you may include up to 4 dogs (with the same health profile) and you may choose cooking frequency from every day to once a week. We do all the math, we even calculate serving size for each dog! We also have detailed tutorials for each step of cooking, mixing, and storing.
If you are an experienced cook, like flexibility, have a normal adult dog, and just need general guidelines, Hearthstone may be right for you. Before purchasing a Starter Kit, you can see a complete list of ingredient options that can be used.
Our EZ Meal Planner gives you a great starting point. You still get to pick out wholesome ingredients at the grocery store and you still get "The Well Dog Nutrient Powder" to make sure your dogs' meals are balanced.
The Getting Started page gives you a great road map for what you need to equip your kitchen, preparation, transitioning to a new food, and more.