Myth Busting: Older Dogs Need More Protein, Not Less. Here’s One Easy Way to Give It.


Some years back, an unfortunate myth began circulating concerning senior dogs and protein. This myth claimed that older dogs were at risk by consuming too much protein.

While its possible some dogs with diagnosed kidney disease need to limit their protein, according to recent research and pet nutrition experts, most senior pups would stand to benefit from more protein, not less.

Writing for PetMD, Dr T. J. Dunn, Jr., DVM states:

You should not restrict feeding high quality protein to older dogs just because they are older. There is even some valid research that indicates older dogs may need a higher percentage of protein in their diets than they required during middle age. This shouldn’t be a surprise to us because dogs evolved through the ages as meat eaters. The grain-based diets for dogs did not even exist until seventy years ago when we humans demanded the convenience, simplicity and economy of dog food in a bag.

So what are some easy and economical ways to boost your senior dog’s protein intake?

One Easy Way to Boost Your Senior Dog’s Protein

Freeze dried meat toppers have become one of the fastest growing product categories in pet stores, and for good reason. Freeze dried meat preserves the nutrients of protein, offering more benefit to your dog’s body. Kibble on the other hand, destroys much of the value in the high-heat manufacturing process.

Plus, there’s an added benefit of freeze dried topper: dogs go absolutely crazy at meal time! We like the Happy Healthy brand of toppers because it includes chicken or beef, probiotics (helps the transition), blueberries, kale, and carrots for additional nutrition.

Unlike kibble, no heat is used with a freeze dried product, so the meat is as close to nature as possible. The addition of a small amount of fruits and vegetables helps increase your dog’s intake of natural vitamins and valuable phytonutrients that are not found in dry dog food.

When we taste tested this topper in the iHeartDogs offices, 10 out of 10 dogs went CRAZY for it over their regular kibble. The topper coats your dog’s existing kibble, boosting the flavor and the nutrition.

Need some other ways to boost protein? Considering adding an egg (cooked or raw) over your dog’s kibble, and reducing their portion a bit to account for added calories. You can also serve up some shredded chicken or turkey breast. Just be sure to avoid deli-meats with too much added salt or processing.

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