Even for dogs, aging is unavoidable. Dogs go through two, distinct periods of aging - maturity and senior - that must be addressed very specifically with nutrition. Maturity generally starts from the mid-point in a dog's life, and this is a period when the signs of aging are not yet visible. At this stage, feeding the appropriate diet can help in the retention of youthful vitality and helps assist the body to fight against the effects of cell aging.
At 75-80% of their total life expectancy, dogs are considered "senior". Special nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and glucosamine can help your dog stay active and vibrant well into adulthood. Vitamins E and C, taurine, lutein and beta-carotenes complement the natural immune defenses of the aged dog when included in their diet. Essential fatty acids in fish oils contribute to healthy skin and coat.
Not all mature and senior dogs have the same nutritional needs. This is why veterinary examinations are particularly important for older dogs. Be sure to take advantage of the advice and expertise of your veterinarian to address the individual needs of your mature or senior dog.