The organism of dogs and cats, like of any other living being, is subject to the action of the passage of time. Over the years, these pets begin to show signs of aging in their bodies. In some cases, this natural process is worsen by the appearance of certain diseases associated with the mature stage.
To cover in a balanced way all the energy and nutrient needs of a mature dog or cat, there is balanced food specifically formulated to provide all the essential nutrients that help prevent or delay the onset of aging disorders.
Maturity and body size
Although the passage of time is inexorable for all pets, not all dogs get old at the same age, a phenomenon that is associated with their body size and metabolism. In this species, the larger the size of the animal, the earlier the beginning of the aging stage. While the onset of maturity in a large dog (more than 30 kg of body weight) occurs already at five or six years of age, in a medium one it occurs at seven, while in a small one (less than 10 kilos weight), it begins only after eight years of life. Similarly, life expectancy or longevity is typically shorter in large breed dogs than in small ones. In cats, it is considered that after seven years of age their mature stage begins.
To help take care of senior pets’ health, it is important that when choosing the most suitable balanced food for this stage, certain ingredients or attributes are sought in its formula.
One aspect to bear in mind in a diet for mature dogs or cats is the reduction in calories intake since the level of physical activity is usually lower during this stage and, therefore, their daily energy requirements. If this point is not addressed, it can promote unhealthy overweight.
Another important point that should be sought in the senior balanced is the contribution of antioxidants, such as vitamins E and C and polyphenols, among others, which protect cells from the action of certain harmful substances. Over the years, these substances, as a consequence of metabolism, accumulate in the body and can affect different organs. Antioxidants in the diet neutralize their action and help improve the quality of life of pets.
In the mature stage, behavioral disorders associated with progressive neuronal deterioration may also appear. The contribution of DHA, an essential fatty acid, in the diet of mature pets helps to keep certain cognitive functions active, such as memory, attention and learning, which can deteriorate in mature or senior dogs.
Otros componentes que contribuyen con la salud en la etapa madura son los protectores de las articulaciones que ayudan a conservar la movilidad de las mascotas. Los de uso más frecuente en la formulación de balanceados son el sulfato de condroitina y la glucosamina.
Other components that contribute to mature health are joint protectors that help keep pets’ mobility. Those most frequently used in the formula of balanced products are chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine.
An important nutritional aspect to help the good health of the mature dog or cat is the care of the heart. In this sense, the reduction of salt and the contribution of taurine and L-carnitine collaborate with normal heart function.
The presence in the diet of certain minerals, such as iron, copper, zinc and manganese, and essential fatty acids maintain the good health and appearance of the coat, while stimulating the defense responses of the immune system.