- Old dogs tend to be less active and require fewer calories. Smaller treatment portions are adequate to prevent unnecessary weight gain.
- A senior dog, just as in an older human, can lose his sense of taste. Old dog treats should have a desirable taste, and maybe a strong smell to entice the olfactory (nose) sense. We tried a “savory chicken” cake mix that had such a strong aroma, even dogs outside knew we were baking! Our geriatric dog couldn’t wait to have a dog cookie!
- As dogs age, they are at higher risk for failing dog health and may have certain illnesses that do require dietary restrictions. For example, kidney disease is a common old-age ailment. An older dog with kidney problems may need a low-protein diet. In that case, ingredients such as meat, chicken, liver, beef, bacon, and cheese would not be suggested. A plain dog biscuit mix is best. The finished product can be dressed up with a flavored dog treat frosting such as carob, vanilla, or blueberry.
- Diabetic dogs cannot have sugar. If your dog has diabetes, choose one of the all-natural sugar-free cake mixes available. Use an all-natural sugar-free dog treat frosting as well. There may be other considerations depending on his kidney health. Always check with your vet first!
- Make allergy-free dog treats if your older dog has developed allergies to certain foods or has a “sensitive” stomach. Chicken and wheat are usually the food items that cause sensitivity to develop.
Take the dog’s health issues into consideration and make a dog birthday cake or special dog treats just for him!