Petfood Industry - January 2018 - 32
32 | www.PetfoodIndustry.com
issues in older dogs
with pet food
Diet and nutrition may mitigate
certain physical and mental problems
for aging dogs.
photo by ikostudio | BigStockPhoto
Senior pet food formulations may help aging
dogs cope with the physical changes that come
with growing older by using functional ingredients and adjusting nutrient levels. Likewise,
specifically formulated dog foods can tantalize
aging canines' declining senses.
"Nearly half of the pet population is estimated
to be in the senior stage of life," said Juan Gomez,
global director for Alltech's companion animal
business. "As life span increases, chronic agerelated changes like arthritis, reduced mobility,
visual and hearing loss, and cognitive decline take
Some of those changes were documented in
the Journal of Gerontology. In November 2017,
that journal published results from an experiment that looked at how inflammation, immune
responses and other factors changed as dogs aged.
The results may point out ways that senior pet
food can help keep animals healthy, longer in life.
Mars Petcare's WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition sponsored and conducted the experiment.
Effects of aging on dogs
In the experiment, 80 Labrador Retrievers
were monitored from adulthood, starting in
2003 or 2005, to death or old age in 2015 and
2016. Throughout the study, scientists measured
levels of certain chemicals in the dogs' blood. As
the dogs aged, these chemicals' levels changed,
■ 51 percent increase in DNA damage. The study
showed a 51 percent increase in 8-Hydroxydeoxyguanosine (80HDG) levels. 80HDG is a
Aging dogs and humans benefit from functional