Creature Feature

6 Apr

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 1E, April 6, 2011

BY RHONDA OWEN, Special to the Democrat-Gazette

My dog is 8 years old. Is it time to switch Rudy to a “senior” dog food? I looked at the labels on some of the them and can’t really tell how they’re different from the regular foods.

Illustration/Dusty Higgins, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Pet food labels can be confusing, but you’re correct in your observation that there isn’t much difference, if any, between “senior” dog foods and those labeled as “adult” or “maintenance.”

The federal Food and Drug Administration Center for Veterinary Medicine (, which sets standards for all animal feed, says there are no rules or requirements that relate to pet foods labeled especially for senior dogs.

“A ‘senior diet’ must meet the requirements for adult maintenance, but no more,” the FDA says. Dogs are considered to be senior when they reach age 7, although that can go up or down depending on the size of the dog. Smaller dogs become seniors later in life than larger dogs. READ FULL COLUMN


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