Can Dog Food Help Target Specific Health Conditions

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As pet’s age, your dog’s nutritional needs may change and some dog’s develop certain health conditions that require your vet’s intervention. Unfortunately, not all interventions address the underlying condition but rather, treat symptoms rather than the root cause of the issue. Many owners look to dog food brands that are specifically designed for senior dogs to help with senior dog issues, but senior dog food may not address your dog’s specific needs. For example, here are a few common pet health conditions that typically require a change in diet:

  • Gastrointestinal issues mean your dog should be eating more complex carbohydrates and cut down on the fat or protein to calm the digestive system.
  • Hypertension and high blood pressure require a reduced-sodium diet and ideally fewer processed ingredients.
  • Gluten or carbohydrate sensitivity should mean limited corn and grain, and meals should include alternatives like legumes, lentils, and berries as carbohydrate sources.
  • Tapeworms and parasites usually indicate sugar levels are too high, and food must be higher in protein and healthy fats to starve the bug.
  • Skin and coat problems are common for dogs with lots of hair, since dead skin cells can build up and lead to infection. Grooming is the best way to handle these issues, but a diet high in omega 3 fatty acids can also smooth things out.
  • Arthritis and other issues related to joint and bone health are very common, especially for bigger dogs. Whole-food ingredients packed with protein and fat are essential to keep them strong inside and out.

Just like humans, animals can change their course by simply making dietary adjustments conducive to addressing the issue at hand. Most veterinarians recommend home cooked meals for some pets especially for pets with certain illnesses. Unfortunately, unless the home cooked diet is developed by a vet nutritionist, it very likely does not contain the proper level of nutrients and supplements ideal for dogs with certain illnesses. 

Home cooked meals that are developed by vet nutritionists are one option for providing your dog with optimal nutrition especially if they have certain health conditions; but not all pet owners have the time to home cook meals for themselves, let alone for their furry friend. 

In recent years, several dog food companies have come on the scene to address this void in the market between commercial dog food you can purchase at the grocery store and home cooked alternatives that can provide more balanced nutrition, especially to address certain conditions. 

Some dog food companies even customize their home cooked recipes to specifically address certain conditions your dog may have, as well as their age, energy level and other dietary concerns you may have. 

When it comes to dog food for older dogs, most veterinarians agree that the size, shape, and quantity of dog food is more important than food designed for a specific breed of dog. Most vets also agree that fresh food is one of the best options for every type of dog. If you do not have time to home cook daily meals for your pet, then there are fresh food services available that can fill the need. 


We do not endorse or promote any products or companies. You should always consult your vet to determine what is most appropriate for your senior pet.

About Us

The Elderly Pet Organization is a 501C3 non profit organization whose mission is to provide information and education about senior pets. Our goal is to end senior pet abandonment and premature euthanization, while increasing senior pet adoptions throughout the US. We accept donations of unwanted items, as well as cash donations to help us with our cause. Read more about us.

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