Best food for senior Labradors

Heed these takeaways:
  • Your dog’s nutritional needs change as she ages.
  • A low-calorie diet with a high-quality protein source will help keep your dog in a healthy weight range.
  • A diet focused on good gut health will help strengthen your senior Lab’s immune system.
  • Heed also promotes proper digestive function and relieves gastrointestinal issues in senior dogs.

Your beautiful Lab has been by your side for years. You’ve watched her grow from a playful and energetic pup into a calm and devoted older dog, and you’re looking forward to sharing the next chapter of her life with her.

But as our dogs grow older, their nutritional needs and eating habits change. Not only does a senior Labrador have different energy requirements to a young pup, but older pets commonly deal with the problems posed by gastrointestinal issues and a compromised immune system.

Senior Labrador lying down and looking at camera.

Image by Pezibear from Pixabay.

So as your Lab approaches her twilight years, diet plays a crucial role in ensuring that she stays as healthy as possible. Let’s take a closer look at how you can find the best dog food for senior dogs, and how it’ll help keep your golden oldie fighting fit.

Maintaining a healthy weight

One of the main health problems senior dogs face is putting on excess weight. As your mature Labrador starts to slow down, her energy requirements drop. And because her metabolism is slowing down, the risk of her becoming overweight or even obese increases.

That’s why it’s important for your senior Labrador to stick to a diet that’s low in calories. The best dog food for senior dogs will feature a high-quality protein source to help your pet maintain muscle mass and stay in a healthy weight range.

Here at Heed, the number-one ingredient in all of our blends is fresh meat sourced from North America. And with a 31% protein content, our kibble features one of the highest protein percentages of any dry dog food on the market.

Boosting immunity

Unfortunately, older dogs face an increased risk of illness — that’s simply a fact of life. And if your older dog’s immune system is compromised, she has a much higher risk of suffering more health problems in the future.

A strong immune system is essential to protect your dog against disease and infection, and up to 70% of your Labrador’s immune system lives in her gut. That’s an astonishingly large figure, so it’s pretty easy to see why good gut health is essential for dogs of all ages.

And that’s why all of our recipes are focused on maintaining a thriving gut microbiome. We’ve developed a proprietary blend of all-natural prebiotics that nourish the good bacteria in your Labrador’s gut, and we include kelp, blueberries, and other antioxidant-rich ingredients to help support a strong immune system.

The result: a healthier gut and a healthier dog.

Digestive problems

Gastrointestinal health is another major concern for older dogs. Constipation is a common problem for many ageing pets, so a diet high in fiber will help keep their digestive system functioning properly.

Many older dogs can also be more prone to suffering from a sensitive stomach later in life. Excessive flatulence, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting can all result, and they can all leave your dog feeling unwell, unhappy, and generally run-down.

Once again, promoting a healthy gut is the key to maintaining proper digestive function. The best food for senior dogs with sensitive stomachs will be gentle on an upset tummy, contain all the essential dietary fiber to keep things regular, and be focused on creating a healthy gut microbiome.

Heed ticks all those boxes. In fact, studies on our prebiotic ingredients show that, after switching to Heed, it takes: 
  • 2 days to see visible improvements in stool quality (odor, texture)
  • 1 week to see improvements in diarrhea and constipation

Reduced appetite

One of the offshoots of ongoing gastrointestinal problems can be a reduction in your Labrador’s appetite. You might be skeptical about this — after all, your precious pet is a food-loving Labrador who has never turned her nose up at a meal in her life — but this is something that can affect any breed as they age.

If your vet has ruled out any underlying medical issues as the cause of your pup going off her food, you’ll need to find a way to encourage your dog to keep eating. And we’ve got the perfect ingredient to help: our freeze-dried toppers.

We include these 100% human-grade toppers with every one of our kibble deliveries. They allow you to mix it up at mealtime and treat your Labrador with a variety of different flavors and textures. So if your senior dog won’t eat, we can help put the excitement back into her dinner bowl.

Of course, even with the best food for older dogs, there’s still one other ingredient your senior Labrador needs: love! All your fur-baby wants is to spend as much time with you as possible. So if you can include her in every aspect of your life and give her all the love and attention she deserves, your gorgeous Lab will be by your side for many years to come.