The Senior Springer Diet
In his autumn years, a sensible Senior Springer diet is essential to maintain his health. She is probably not as active as she once was. It's at this stage that Springers can become overweight if they retain the same calorie intake as they used to.
So the Senior Springer Diet needs to be one that has a lower calorie content; as this type of diet is more appropriate for a dog that is less active now than it was in his springing youth. Having moved on from the Adult Springer Diet, the Senior Springer Diet is the next level in his feeding requirements.
Frequency and quantity of feeding
Your Senior Springer should still be fed once a day, however the portions should gradually be getting smaller as your Springer gets older and in line with your dog food manufacturer's guidelines. You should still factor in any treats you give your Spaniel as these all contibute to the total calories they are recommended to consume.
What should I feed my adult dog?
Most manufacturers market a senior brand of dog food, so I would advise that you use a Senior Springer Diet that is designed specifically for a senior dog. As mentioned above, ensure that you adhere to the portion guidelines so that you do not overfeed your Spaniel, and in turn keep his weight down.
There are many different adult dog foods on the market ranging from dry, to tinned food with dry mixers or fresh diet. These will range in quality,and price, but you must decide what you want to feed your dog. My advice is not to give your dog the cheapest diet, frankly if you want a healthy dog you have to pay for a good dog food.
To confirm that your dog food is right for your Springer, you will need to check their stools (poo). A healthy stool should be firm and dark brown. Anything that is runny or funny colored may mean that their digestive system is not coping with their food, so you may need to look at changing it.
If you see blood or slime in their stools, it could be a sign of colitis, which can be the result of a food intolerance. My advice is if you find this, then take your Springer straight to the vet so they can investigate further.
Additive Free diets.
As I have an English Springer Spaniel, well known for their hyperactivity, I have always fed George an additive free diet. I discovered this about 10 years ago when my parents were advised by a vet to feed their hyperactive rescue dog, Mungo, an additive free diet to help him calm down. It really worked a treat, so I cannot recommend this highly enough, especially if you have a very hyperactive Springer.
I would also advise that, at this stage of your Springer's life, your Senior Springer Diet should also include some supplements. As Springers of this age can be prone to joint aches and pains, supplements such as cod liver oil, or glucosamine, can really help keep your old friend ticking along more comfortably.
What if they dont eat?
If your dog does not eat the food that you offer them, take the bowl away. This is in line with the pack psychology, as a dog low down in the pack should not be able to pick and choose when they eat. If you are worried that your dog will starve, don’t. Dogs being animals will not allow themselves to go hungry, they will eat eventually. As a senior Spaniel, though, I would assume that you know your own Spaniel well, and therefore know the difference between her not being hungry and being unwell.
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