Like people, old pets need slightly different care. You walk a little less, and a lot slower. You pay attention to stiff bones and muscles, perhaps giving your pet a gentle rub to relieve strain.
Also, you’re probably changing your food routine.
Generally speaking, old dogs exercise a little less, so you may cut down on portions. As large hard biscuits and chewy kibble can be an issue, you may need to pay attention to the shape and texture of the food too.
Most regular doggy diets cater well for pets but it never hurts to talk to your vet about special needs. This is especially important if your pet is taking medications.
The other thing that an old dog who’s not feeling as young as he used to, may be a bit fussy about food. If so, you can tempt him into proper eating with a few home cooked meals.
Tip: If you always home cook, or if your pet has allergies or special needs, you need to understand dog nutrition needs. However, if you replace the old meal with a home cooked one for a healthy older pet, look at it like us eating out and dropping the healthy sensible diet for a day. It’s a tasty treat.
So, what do you cook? The trick to cooking for your pet is to think dog. While we humans look at presentation first (why do you think cookbooks sell so well?) dogs place premium importance on scent.
Buy some good quality stewing meat, beef, pork or mutton and cut into small cubes. Rub a pan with butter and fry the meat on high very quickly until it browns. Put the meat in a casserole and add chopped carrots and potato. The veg adds fibre and vitamins.
Tip: There should be more meat than veggy! Your pet is an omnivore but meat is a staple for dogs.
Cover meat and veggy with water, pop on the lid and cook on low 250 Degrees F in your Haier oven for an hour. Remove the lid and cook for another thirty minutes or so. This reduces the gravy, and sends scent into the kitchen.
Serve the falling apart stew in a pretty bowl. Bon Appetit!